With over 500 balloons, nearly 1,000 pilots and thousands of spectators, the captivating Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a sight to behold. This annual event, now the largest and most popular balloon festival in the world, started in 1972. Then, a small and informal group of a dozen pilots and balloon enthusiasts gathered for several days to celebrate flying and engage in friendly competition. A year later, the event featured the first ever world ballooning championships. Now, the event is a weeklong celebration that draws balloonists and spectators from all over the world. Along with a stimulating balloon flying competition, there are fun events and activities, both on the ground and in the air, for everyone to enjoy.
Whether it’s your first flight or you’re a ballooning hobbyist, the balloon rides at the festival are one of its most popular events. Like Las Vegas balloon rides, balloon rides over Albuquerque treat you to stunning views of the city and the surrounding landscape. Furthermore, you’ll be right in the center of the activity as you watch the world’s top balloonists take to the air up close and personal. As with Vegas balloon rides, you’ll be able to go on group rides at this event or hire a balloon for a special private tour. Either way, a majestic balloon ride thousands of feet over the city is sure to be one of your favorite parts of the event.
Balloon Competitions and Special Ballooning Events
Along with participating in public rides, you’ll be able to watch highly skilled balloon pilots compete for prizes from dozens of countries. The competition is exciting and intense as the pilots participate in races like target hitting and reaching a pre-set goal while using only the winds to help them. Other events include the Dawn Patrol, mass ascensions and balloon glows. Dawn Patrol is an activity that started in the late 1970s and is now one of the fiesta’s most anticipated activities. Pilots take off before sunrise and land when there is enough light to see the ground. Mass ascensions are also a highlight of the event. During this activity, hundreds of balloonists take to the skies during group launches. For audiences on the ground, the sight of hundreds of colorful balloons in the sky is unbeatable. Balloon glows feature dozens of balloons launching at once and firing their burners in unison. This spectacular display is equally enchanting. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
Throughout the event, there are plenty of other exciting activities to enjoy. There is a photo contest as well as a rodeo and a grand finale of fireworks. There is even a chainsaw competition, complete with a Q + A session at the end! Live bands are on hand to provide musical entertainment throughout the fiesta, and vendors are set up selling all kinds of merchandise. The final day includes a laser light show and a farewell ascension.
In 2018, this exciting event takes place from October 6-14. Tickets, which are best purchased as early as possible, are available through Vegas Hot Air Balloon Rides. Call or visit our site at http://vegashotairballoonrides.com/for tickets and more information!