Brian Counts is from Battle Creek, Michigan. During the 1981 World's Championships in Battle Creek, Brian was getting ready for work, heard the roar of a hot-air balloon overhead, ran outside and got to help the balloonist take his balloon apart. He has been involved in hot-air ballooning ever since.
He and his late wife Sharon were charter members of the Battle Creek Balloon Club and attended the festival where she told him, "This is the last time we're gonna be on this side of the fence." Sharon and Brian bought their balloon in 1987. Sharon was chairperson for the Host Family & Crew Committee for the Battle Creek Balloon Championships from 1985-95.
Brian has been a licensed balloon pilot for 25 years and has 500 hours as pilot-in-command. Brian is retired and is now working on relaxation and primarily flies for sport and pleasure. His greatest satisfaction comes from being able to share the joy it brings to others who get to take their first hot-air balloon ride. The name of his balloon is "Big Blue"/M Go Ballooning". This will be Brian's 30th year participating in the event. He has 2 kids, 5 grand kids and 1 great granddaughter. Vaughn Gresley is his crew chief.