Cool crisp air in the early morning, the warm fiery hot flames inflating oversized balloons with baskets of people dangling below, and a color cornucopia glittering the blue sky. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the world’s largest hot air ballooning event. The nine day event brings together over 500 hot air balloons from across the globe. The visual feast is said to be one of the world’s most photographed events and for good reason.
The brisk autumn temperatures and clear sunny skies make this region of NM ideal for hot air balloons and has made this an ever-growing event. Local Food vendors selling breakfast burritos, donuts funnel cakes, and beverages line a huge multi-acre grass field with hot air balloons rolled out making the field look like a giant quilt.
These mass ascensions cause hundreds of balloons to lift off and occur throughout the 4 weekend mornings in a sight that is truly magnificent to see. By far one of the coolest parts is that the event still permits you to walk right amongst the balloons in the field as they inflate into house sized hot air balloons. Spectators are allowed to walk right up to the balloons as they inflate and then watch as they ascend into the sky all around and above them. Many pilots walk around handing out keepsake collectors photo cards and answer questions about ballooning. In the evenings, the pilots use the propane burners to light up the tethered balloons like giant colorful light bulbs. The event draws in spectacular special shapes. Everything from Darth Vader, flowers, bees, Spiderpig and a cow jumping over the moon can be found. Experience something unique.