The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

1658725282_8c2fe5b242_oIt’s time to start planning your vacation for next year.  May I suggest one with amazing beauty, history and adventure?  I lived in Albuquerque, NM for 3 1/2 years when my husband was in the military and had the opportunity to even work this festival which gave me the chance to see the beauty up close and personal.  I wanted to share with you a bit of the joy it brought us by informing you of what the event is about and some of the photos I gathered on the net.  Mine are all put away in photo albums from 19 years ago so they are a bit outdated.  I would love to go back.  This year’s event just ended last week.  I should have put this post together much sooner.

The picture to the left looks very similar to the tent I worked when I was there back in 1994.  I sold these beautifully handcrafted balloons.

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta – The World’s Premier Balloon Event has much to choose from over the 8 days it’s in town.



Starting at 5:45 daily the hot air balloons are laid out and lit up while they remain on the ground.  It is quite a wonder to behold in the dark of the early morning hours.

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Opening ceremonies start at 6:45 followed by The Mass ascension at 7am.  The balloons take off in 2 seprate waves starting from one end of the field to the other.

balloons Mass-Ascension-2w 19091572 images

indexAlbuquerque Chainsaw Carving International, a side show to the balloons, brings artists from around the world.  It is a fairly new art form but the sculptures are incredible.  The carving show started at 8am this year and after they are done the show, the pieces are auctioned off.

Early in the week there are not as many attractions and they do vary so be sure to check the schedule before planning your travel.  A few of the shows that are mixed in are, The Fiesta of Wheels Car Show, Flying Competition, Concerts (The 2013 event hosted Darius Rucker), Balloon Fiesta Pin Trading, and more.

The vendor booths showcase amazing art talent, specialty foods and activities.  You may even get to have your picture taken in a gondola.

The Special Shapes took off this year on Thursday and Friday only at 5:45PM.  This is a MUST SEE event.  I remember taking my first born when he was a year and a half and he was as intrigued as we were.  It is a day, as a family we will cherish for life, even after 19 years!  Check out some of the shapes from this year:

special shapes 1 darth-photo BalFiestaShapes newmexico-albuquerque-balloons3-xl

The Night MagicTM Glow and the AfterGlowTM Fireworks Show, presented by Albuquerque Journal, are as equally amazing as watching them light up in the early morning hours but I believe they remain on the ground.  A fireworks show is included.

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In addition to the events listed, there is a great deal to see and do.  If you are there for the week,be sure to check out other attractions to visit in the area such as the Pertroglyph National Monument, Old Town, the town of Taos, Carlsbad Caverns or even take a drive around the back side and to the top of Sandia Mountain Crest.  Albuquerque has some beautiful attractions.

The Albuquerque Convention & Visitor’s Center lists the dates for 2014 to be October 4 – 12.  If you are interested, it is best to book as far in advance as possible.  Hotels and flights for this week fill quickly.  You can find great information on the Balloon Fiesta Website in the Sources section below that lists hotel, fights and accommodation information.

Feel free to share with the links below.  If you enjoy this blog, follow my on Facebook at Words That Touch Your Heart ~ Missy Bell.



6 thoughts on “The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

  1. So cool!!! I’ve always wanted to ride in a hot air balloon as they completely fascinate me. I think this would be magical to see up close and personal. I think you may have just inspired a new trip idea for me! Thank you!

    1. I love that Crystal!! That was my intention. We were just so taken by it when we were there. My husband read it and commented on Facebook that he thinks it will be next year’s vacation. Our son will be moving 12 hours from there so we could make it a side trip, MAYBE. We’ll see, but I’d LOVE to go back!

  2. I loved the Balloon Festival when I lived there in 1998. I chaperoned Christina’s 5th grade field trip and Mass Ascension was freaking awesome. I have great images that i took with my Nikon N65. Brings back memories!

    1. Peggy, I couldn’t choose a particular favorite. I know if I go back I’m buying a new hot air balloon that vendor though. I fell in love with them. Each one was different. If I go again, I want to get up close like that one picture and get a shot of a balloon on it’s side with the glow of the hot sir being blown in. Breathtaking. The shapes were great but not as fascinating without a youngster I would think. Not sure. We will let you know, maybe you could join us!

  3. Hey again, Missy! I love the cow balloon!! We have a balloon festival in my town each year. It’s so fun to wake early in the morning and look out the window to this spectacular show. I’ve heard the Albuquerque festival is phenomenal. One of my co-workers used to be the organizer. Thanks for the post!

    1. THat’s amazing. I know there is one much more local to us in VT every year during the Father’s day weekend. I don’t think it’s quite as big though. What state do you live in? I’m glad you pointed out a favorite. I think more than the shapes I really enjoy the bright multicolored ones. Thank you for stopping in tonight!

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