A balloon release is an event in which balloons are released in remembrance of someone or to celebrate something. The events are often held after the death of a child by the grieving parents and family members.
Balloon releases are also held for weddings, birthdays and some charity events, but these aren't as common. Releasing balloons can be a controversial subject since many people believe that latex balloons can be harmful to the environment when they fall back to Earth.
In some localities, it's illegal to release balloons. These places include California, Florida, New York, Virginia and Tennessee. It's always best to check the local law before a balloon release.