The Greatest Ballooning Show on Earth
Mass Ascensions are by far the most popular events during Balloon Fiesta, during which all balloons launch in waves and paint the Albuquerque sky with color throughout the morning. Each day, more than 100,000 visitors from all over the world can attend these weekend morning launches. On average, 600 balloons take flight throughout the early morning in waves. The most balloons ever to fly at Balloon Fiesta was 1,000 balloons in 2000; numbers have been limited since then due to safety concerns. This year, the morning of Wed., Oct. 8 sees the Flight of Nations mass ascension, in which international pilots launch first and display their nations' flags. To beat the traffic and parking lines, use the event's Park & Ride system, or better yet, ride a bike to Fiesta.
Photo courtesy of Steve Larese