. . . Road Flares Tied to Balloons.
The way the lights disappeared also supports the hoax theory. They did not zoom away at high speed, as one might expect from an aircraft. Nor did they all suddenly and mysteriously disappear. Instead, eyewitnesses reported that the red lights remained steady but then "faded away"—exactly as dying road flares would do. And isn't it interesting that red is the most common color of road flare? [The World's Greatest Hoaxes]
This is not the first time that people have been fooled by flares tied to balloons; identical sightings over Phoenix in 2008, and New Jersey a year later, were found to have been similar stunts.