The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the world's premier hot air ballooning event, fills the skies of New Mexico each October with hundreds of balloons flown by pilots from around the globe. In 2013, 554 balloon teams registered, representing 35 states and 18 countries, with 97 special shapes balloons in attendance.Photo courtesy of Ron Behrmann
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta's main events are the early morning Mass Ascensions, when all participating balloons are invited to take off in two waves, dotting the sky with color. Mass Ascensions may be the big ticket events – ones you don't want to miss – but they're not the only reason to attend the Balloon Fiesta.
On select evenings during the Fiesta, head to Balloon Fiesta Park for one of the most popular events, the Balloon Glow. During this special evening event, balloon pilots inflate and tether their balloons, and once darkness falls, they light them up in unison in what is often considered the most spectacular sight of the entire festival. Other notable events include the Special Shapes Rodeo and the Music Fiesta.
Over 850,000 people attended the week long event last year, making finding a room in Albuquerque next to impossible last minute. If you want to attend this amazing, photogenic and family-friendly event in 2014, now's the time to plan ahead and get your accommodations booked. Several Albuquerque hotels already have special rates set for this year's event.