Summer has ended for many parts of the world but not for the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The fresh wind still blows and it is that time of the year to host the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Each fall, pilots, photographers, balloon enthusiasts and spectators from all over the world come to the The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta – the world’s largest hot air ballooning event. Why Albuquerque? No, not because of Walter White. It’s because the city has some great ballooning requirements. Early October brings cool morning and evening temperatures in Albuquerque, which is just right for a balloon launch. The Albuquerque Balloon Festival celebrates its 42nd anniversary this year. So if you’re in the area and looking for things to do in Albuquerque, this is one event not to miss.
Why Join Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta?
There are quite a few unique festival around the world. This one is too. The balloon fiesta in Albuquerque is filled with a whoosh and a swirl, inflate and deflate, rise and launch towards the sky. The nine-day Albuquerque event will feature events, entertainment, fireworks, balloon races, hot air balloon rides and of course the balloons galore giving spectators a fantastic show. May it be your first time watching the balloon festival in Albuquerque or your 10th time, there is truly nothing like it anywhere else in the world. No wonder Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta said to be the world’s most photographed event.
In the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, you will witness many hundreds of balloons lift off into the morning sky. Balloons from all over the world rise together in a harmonious lift off. The sight of hundreds of balloons in every color, size and shape take over the sky is amazing. Special shape balloons like come alive bumble bees, flowers and dinosaurs are launched in an event called the ‘special shape rodeos‘. To see these balloons in the sky is as breathtaking for first-time visitors as it is for the one who has seen it many times. In the evening the fun doesn’t end as the propane burners inflate the balloons against a dark sky. They may seem like fireflies in the sky.
The ‘balloon pilots’ of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta enjoy the competitions held in the sky. During the weekdays of this event, the balloon pilots compete in events that are a lot harder than they look. In a event called ‘key grab‘ pilots must launch at least one mile away from the fields. Then fly back, avoiding collisions with hundreds of other balloons and navigate their hot air balloon to the precise location where a envelope is attached to a very tall pole. The envelope holds the keys to a new car, and the first one to grab it wins! Don’t you feel like joining the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta now?
The most exciting part for the visitors of this famous ABQ balloon festival is, that they are allowed to walk amongst the balloons as they inflate on the launch field each morning. Spectators are welcome to ask questions and meet the balloon pilots. Who knows, you might even get asked to help out as a crew member with the inflation process! Once all is set and when it’s time for the lift off they will launch zebras – got your attention? Well not actual zebras but the traffic directors who are dressed in black and white outfits. The launch of the ‘zebras’ will clear a path in the crowd for each balloon to take off.
When Is Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Nine days from October 5th to the 13th, 2013 you will be surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of colorful balloons that will float above the city each morning as dawn breaks over the Sandia Mountains.
How About Some Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Facts?
Most Interesting Facts About Albuquerque Balloon Festival
- The Albuquerque Balloon Festival is the world’s premier international ballooning event
- It happens in Albuquerque because the city meet some great ballooning requirements
- The Balloon Fiesta has a Facebook page with over 45,000 followers
- Mass ascensions of about 700 balloons take about two hours
- The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the most photographed event on the planet
- Balloon festival’s launch fields total the size of 56 football fields
- Balloon fiesta park is over 360 acres, and the launch field is 78 acres
- The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has as many or more visitors annually than the population of Albuquerque itself
What’s New For This Year’s ABQ Balloon Festival?
For 2013, The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has added a Music Festival. The festival take place on Saturday, October 12, featuring four separate performances after the morning mass ascension and before the evening night glow. The headliner will be country music star Darius Rucker, Bob Farrell, Derryl Perry from Nashville and one other artist yet to be announced.
Where Is Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Held?
The Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque launches from 5000, Balloon Fiesta Parkway NE. Driving to the park is easy because signs point the way. From I-25 north or south, both the Alameda and the Tramway exits will get you there.
What To Bring To The Balloon Fiesta In Albuquerque?
- Dress in layers for mass ascension. The early morning air is chilly but once the sun rises, it becomes quite warm
- Bring a stroller or wagon for young children
- Bring a water bottle
- Food can be purchased at the Fiesta, but prepacked snacks for kids cuts down on waiting in lines
- Vendors are on hand for an assortment of reasons. There are balloon fiesta memorabilia pieces, funny hats, arts and crafts and more
- Bring a camera with lots of memory. There will be more photo ops packed into one morning than you can imagine
- Bring cash. Although there are ATM’s at the park, the fees are high
How Much Is Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Admission?
Adults (Over 12 years of age): $8
Children: Children 12 and under are admitted free
Ticket can be purchased online from http://www.balloonfiesta.com/guest-guide/ticketing-information
Nearly 750,000 visitors attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta each year. So make sure you plan early to join the fun. Be sure to book a hotel in advance, if you’re coming from a far. Alternatively, you can arrange to bring an RV and camp at the grounds (more fun). Don’t miss the chance to experience this one-of-a-kind event. There really aren’t any hot air balloon festivals like the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta!