The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta will be held on 6 October to 14 October 2018 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is the largest annual hot air balloon festival in the world, with more than 500 hot air balloons participating each year.
The Balloon Fiesta began in 1972 as the highlight of a 50th birthday celebration for 770 KOB Radio. 13 hot air balloons gathered during the event. The first fiesta incorporated a “Roadrunner-Coyote Balloon Race” (a “hare-and-hounds” race elsewhere in the world) with 1 balloon being the “Roadrunner” and the others being “Coyote” balloons. Today, up to 100,000 spectators join the fiesta on the launch field where they are provided the rare opportunity to observe inflation and take off procedures. Countless more people gather at landing sites all over the city to watch incoming balloons.
There are various events during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The Dawn Patrol event is when hot air balloons with position lighting systems take off before sunrise and fly until it is light enough to see landing sites. Fellow balloonists appreciate the Dawn Patrol because they can watch the balloons and get an early idea of wind speeds and directions at different altitudes. The Mass Ascension event is one of the biggest events, where all participating balloons launch in two waves, filling the sky with hundreds of balloons at once. In Artistic Vision event, many local artists take advantage of the balloons as favorite subject matter for their paintings. The Special Shape Rodeo event is when many non-traditional, uniquely shaped balloons are launched at the same time. In Balloon Glows event, large numbers of balloons are illuminated at night by their propane burners, followed by New Mexico’s most spectacular fireworks displays. In America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race, special long-distance gas balloons are inflated and then launched. The winner of the race is the balloon that travels the farthest.
If you are in Albuquerque during the Fiesta, make sure to head to the Balloon Fiesta Park to join the event! Take some time also to visit he Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.
How about you? Have you ever gone to Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta?