If hot air ballooning is something that excites you, Albuquerque Balloon Festival is actually made for you. This International Balloon Fiesta came into being in 1972 with only 13 balloons. And now there’s a dedicated 365-acre park for this event known as Balloon Fiesta Park. If these numbers aren’t good enough to get you on the edge of your seat, keep it noted with more than 500 balloons, Albuquerque Balloon Festival stands tall as the biggest ballooning event across the globe. Moreover, it is the most photographed event on the surface of the planet Earth as well.
From here on one thing is clear the lit up sky, occupied with the hot air balloons will be a sight not to be missed at any cost. This year Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta will be happening from 5th October to 13th October. In case you want to make it to this year’s spectacular event, book your tickets online as there’s no same day sale option available for this one. Moreover, if you’re a first timer planning to make it to this event, this write-up has much to offer.
Apart from that if safety is a concern for you and also a serious hurdle in between you and your plan to this hot balloon festival, you actually need to know about the 47-year safety record of this event. Yes, it is one of its own kind events where you can walk within the balloon and also talk with the pilots as well.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta isn’t the only balloon festival happening on the planet Earth. Though it’s the torch bearer in some capacity, still at the time of writing there are dozens of hot air balloon festival making waves, and many of them are home to the US. But none is good enough to outclass the 500+ balloons benchmark set by this hot balloon event happening in New Mexico.
Namely, some other big wig balloon festivals happening across the globe includes Great Reno Balloon Race, Havasu Balloon Festival and Fair, and National Balloon Classic. The list of balloon festival goes on and on, the above-mentioned are few tried and tested ones. Still, Albuquerque balloon festival is best by far, whether it is about the resources or the safety measurements.
The balloon fiesta is just getting bigger and better with every passing day. Whether it is about the custom designed area widespread in the 365-acre area or the facilities provided there, everything is top-notch. This balloon fiesta has become part of New Mexico’s tradition over the years. And now it proudly stands out as the biggest balloon convention around the world. Showcasing over 500 balloons from last several years is yet another record, this international balloon fiesta have got hands on. The tourist attraction to Albuquerque every year in October makes a huge impact on the local businesses.
The 9-day festival never loses its charm, not even for a single second. All credit goes to the multitude of events that happen around the clock at the event’s site. These happenings are classified into different sessions, happening in morning or evening session. Below are some of the main events of this balloon festival.
This event has roots back to 1978 when two Californian Balloonists flew balloon at night with the help of positioning lights. Though the idea got mixed reviews but still those appreciating it had to say that it gives them a complete idea about the different altitudes and wind speeds as well. Even today this activity happening before sunrise works as a helping hand to the fellow balloonists.
This one stands out as a full-fledged opportunity to all the local artists to showcase their talent. These local artists design a balloon or paint them in an artistic way and earn appreciation from the attendees. It should be noted here that this balloon festival is attended by hundreds of thousands of people from far-flung areas across the US. So this turns out to be an ultimate opportunity for the budding artists to exhibit their work on the balloons.
Though there are several events in this festival, the Mass Ascensions is one of the biggest and most awaited out of them every year. Hundreds of participating balloons fill in the sky at once. It’s all up on the directors aka Zebras because of their black and white striped outfits that when and how to launch the balloons. That’s usually done in two waves with keeping the safety of the participants as the topmost priority. The traffic cops are responsible for all the coordination between the balloons.
The Balloon Glows happened for the first time back in 1978 when local pilots in Albuquerque did so for thanking the residents on Christmas Eve. This wonderful gesture known as the Balloon Glows finally became part of the fiesta in 1987. The huge balloons light up at night and that’s an unmissable sight for the attendees.
If you think these air balloons only exist in the balloon shapes, you need to rethink or else witness this session known as special shape rodeo. The non-traditional and unorthodox shaped balloons are launched in the sky and that is something exciting for people of all group ages. Some of the most famous balloon shapes featuring in this session are twin bees, a milk cow and the wagon coach.
One thing is for sure you can’t make it to the event without the ticket. So for this purpose, you can make a purchase online or buy on the festivals day at the main gate. Moreover, if you find any difficulty to print those tickets at home, you can bring your credit card along through which you made the payment. The general admission tickets per session cost $10 per person, who is 13 years or older.
Apart from that you can also get your park and ride tickets to avoid the last minute hassle. And that can only be done online prior to the event.
Moreover, if you’re eyeing for some lavish treatment during the festival don’t forget to purchase Gondola or Chasers’ club tickets. The Gondola Club ticket is $110 per person and it includes many benefits apart from the entry ticket to Balloon Fiesta. The gourmet buffet meal and shuttle transportation are salient features of this Gondola club ticket.
In case you opt Chasers’ club ticket it is even lesser than half the price of Gondola, yet it gives you benefits like seating in a private patio and beverages and dessert as well.
The person who has previously been to this balloon fiesta actually knows that October is fascinating in New Mexico every year. The weather conditions are apt, not so cold and not so hot. And what worked as the cherry on the top are clear skies and the balloons dominating the skyline. The 9-day year festival releases its entire schedule to make it easy for the participants to choose which session on which day they actually want to be part of this fiesta.
It all starts from Dawn Patrol at 6 in the morning and then it is followed up by Krispy Kreme Morning Glow. Long story short, there is a multitude of events scheduled in this fiesta which have something for people of all ages.
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