Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2022: History, Importance and Celebrations

The Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is an annual hot air balloon festival that takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico in early October. The Balloon Fiesta is a nine-day event that occurs in the first full week of October, therefore starting on October 1 each year and lasting until October 9.


The event is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world, with more than 500 hot air balloons making an appearance during this festival every year, followed by the Grand Est Mondial Air in France.

It is also the most photographed event in the world and the largest annual international event held in the United States. And it plays a key role in tourism for the city of Albuquerque.

Event Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
Date October 1, 2022
Day Saturday
Meaning Every year in the first days of October, Albuquerque, New Mexico hosts the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
observed by USA

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History of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta:

The Balloon Fiesta first began in 1972 as the highlight of 770 KOB Radio’s 50th birthday celebration. Radio station manager Dick McKee asked Sid Cutter, owner of Cutter Flying Service and the first person to own a hot air balloon in New Mexico, if KOB could use his new hot air balloon as part of the festivities. Then, after a long discussion, the first party ended as a gathering of 13 balloons on April 8, 1972, sponsored by KOB. The first event was located in the parking lot of the Coronado Center Shopping Center with 20,000 spectators and with the participation of hot air balloons from Arizona, California, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada and Texas.

The following year, Albuquerque hosted the first World Hot Air Balloon Championship in February and the party became an international event. In 1975, Albuquerque was thinking about hosting the World Championship again, but the event was scheduled for October. So the party was moved to coincide with the championships. To keep interest in Albuquerque’s bid to host the championships, a balloon rally was held in February of that year.

In 1978, the event became so popular that it received 273 entries, and as the years went by, the number of balloons steadily increased over time even more. In the year 2000, more than 1,000 balloons were registered for the Balloon Festival. There is now a limit on the number of balloons that can participate, as the availability of the landing site is limited. In 1993 and 1999, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta also hosted the annual Gordon Bennett Coupe. For those who don’t know, Gordon Bennett’s Coupe is the oldest and most prestigious gas balloon race in the world.

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On any given day during the festival, up to 100,000 spectators can be on the pitch at cinaoarison to the first party which was seen by around 10,000 people. They also have the rare opportunity to observe the inflation and take-off procedures. Countless more people gather at landing sites across the city to watch the balloons that couldn’t make it to the main event and this show is also very popular on TV.

In 2017 Balloon Party Live! was released, allowing fans to live stream the event. This professionally produced live stream has expert commentary on all flight events. The number of other unique events during this festival has also added to its popularity and these events have become a very important part of this festival, especially among families.

Significance of the Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta:

The Balloon Fiesta park, from where the balloons are launched, is located on the northern edge of the city. The park is a multi-use field and hosts many other events throughout the year. In 2005, the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum opened on the grounds. The museum is dedicated to the history, science, sport and art of hot air ballooning and other innovative forms of flight. The entire complex today extends over more than 350 acres of area.

The convention has also become a major showcase for New Mexican culture and history and features numerous cultural exhibits. The festival is one of Albuquerque’s biggest tourist attractions and is an important source of income and livelihood for the city and local businesses. Albuquerque also has the largest number of resident hot air balloons with over 300 people so it is very important to your income stream.

Tourists and partygoers typically take thousands of pictures of the balloons, so it’s no surprise that for several years the party was sponsored by Kodak and given the title Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, although that title is generally it was only used in print advertisements and official memorabilia. After Kodak dropped out of the project, the event was sponsored by Canon, a Japanese camera and imaging company in 2018, so this in itself indicates how important this event is for photography.

Together with all these factors, it is finally a hot air balloon celebration with various competitions that provides a platform for all the balloonists in the country to showcase their talent and win prizes. For the public, this event is a great source of entertainment and recreation during which they enjoy riding hot air balloons and also enjoy their time while enjoying many events instead of balloon events such as chainsaw carving, skydiving and fireworks. that satisfy other interests. . In general, it also provides a pleasant experience when looking at these beautiful and giant hot air balloons in the sky.

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Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Celebrations:

The Dawn Patrol is a very important part of the festival that began at the Balloon Fiesta in 1978, when two California balloonists developed positional lighting systems that allowed them to fly at night. Dawn Patrol pilots take off before dawn and fly until it’s light enough to see the landing sites. Fellow balloonists appreciate the Dawn Patrol because they can watch the balloons and get an early idea of ​​wind speed and direction at different altitudes.

Mass Ascension is another of the party’s biggest events, where all participating balloons are released in two waves, filling the sky with hundreds of balloons at once. Launch directors, also known as “zebras” for their black and white striped outfits, act as “traffic police” and coordinate the launch so that the balloons leave the field in a safe and coordinated manner.

Many non-traditional and uniquely shaped balloons are released at the same time. Some of the most famous shapes include a dairy cow, a carriage, twin bees, and many others, such as soda cans and animals. All of these provide a very nice sight to the spectators who can see balloons in different shapes and sizes, offering a majestic experience. Many local artists use balloons as a favorite subject for their paintings.

A large number of balloons light up at night with their propane burners. They remain static and do not take off during these events and this is called ‘Glowing Balloon’. The “Glowdeo” is a night glow for special shaped balloons. Evening balloon glows are often followed by fireworks displays.

Most Searched FAQs about Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta:

1. When is the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta celebrated?

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is held annually in the first days of October for nine days from October 1-9.

2. How much does it cost to go to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta?

It’s $10 per person for general admission to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, kids 12 and under can get in free.

3. What time do the balloons go up at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta?

They go up at 7 in the morning.

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