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Albuquerque Balloon Festival 2017

Monday, April 10, 2017 6:05
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Albuquerque Balloon Festival 2017

The world-renowned Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has been taking place for more than four decades. This magical picture show in the sky features hundreds of balloons at Balloon Fiesta Park. It began back in 1973 with only 13 balloons. This annual festival is considered to be the world’s largest ballooning event.

The Events And Balloons

Over the course of 9 days attendees can watch hundreds of balloons each day starting at dawn. Mass Ascensions occurs in the morning after “dawn patrol”. Dawn patrol essentially lets those flying balloons know that it’s safe for them to fly. Other events are held in the evenings. For instance, Balloon Glow is when the balloons are filled and tethered and spectators can actually walk through the field and view the balloons. Each of these balloons seem to come alive with the glow of the propane burners against the dark sky. There are quite a few different types of balloons at the festival. Animals, flowers and even dinosaurs are quite common. There’s even a cow jumping over the moon and a stage coach.

The Competition

A big part of the events, for the pilots especially, are the flying events. They take quite a bit of skill as pilots have to launch their balloon over a mile from the field. Then they have to fly it back without colliding with all the other balloons and get back to a precise location where there is an envelope attached to a pole. Inside the envelope are the keys to a new car. The first one that gets it gets to keep the car. Many pilots have wrecked their balloon trying to get back to the pole.

One of the most anticipated parts of the fiesta for spectators occurs fairly early each morning. They are allowed to walk amongst the balloons as they are being inflated on the launch field. This is a great chance to meet some of the pilots and talk to them. It’s not uncommon for spectators to be asked to help out. Don’t worry about being on the field though as traffic directors, known as zebras because they are dressed in black and white outfits, will clear the crowds out of the field before the balloons take off. Close to 750,000 people attend this event every year. Will you be one of them? If you do plan on attending, make your plans early as hotel rooms do sell out quickly.

Want to attend the Albuquerque Balloon Festival?  Here are some packages from reputable travel companies that include this event.

Globus Tours : Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
5 day Globus Tours: Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 

Includes opening ceremonies; Mass Ascension; International Balloon Museum; Indian Pueblo Cultural Center; Balloon Glow & After-Glow fireworks show at the Balloon Fiesta

Collette Vacations : Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
I addition to the Balloon Fiesta, this exciting journey also includes time in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, two culturally rich cities. Visit the unique shops and restaurants of Old Town Albuquerque. Wind through the stunning Turquoise Trail. Set out on a walking tour of Santa Fe that highlights the St. Francis Cathedral and the end of the Santa Fe Trail. Experience the Santa Fe School of Cooking.

Mayflower ToursAlbuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Enjoy the balloon Fiesta including the opening ceremonies.  Guided sightseeing of Albuquerque including historic Old Town, a maze of cobbled courtyards, hidden patios and numerous galleries and shops.

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