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Albuquerque Balloon Festivale, New Mexico
Eastern Pennsylvania
3698 Posts
September 19, 2010 – 3:23 pm

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The [size=12pt]Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta[/size], held in the first week of October, is the world’s largest hot air balloon convention and, undisputedly, the most photographed event on earth. The Balloon Fiesta had its modest beginnings in 1972 when 13 balloons launched from a shopping mall parking lot to celebrate the 50th anniversary of local radio station. In three decades the event has grown into a nine-day extravaganza.

This year over 400,000 US and international visitors are expected to descend on Albuquerque to watch the desert sky fill with over 700 multicolored and diversely shaped balloons during the event’s opening weekend alone. Guests can walk amongst these hot air giants, talk with the pilots and crew, satisfy shutter-happy fingers by snapping the perfect photograph, or just gaze in amazement from below.

The convention has also become a major showcase of New Mexico’s culture, heritage and history and features numerous exhibitions.

When to Go: This year, the nine-day event runs October 2-10. If you miss it this year, ensure you pencil in this annual event!

Future dates as follows: October 1-9, 2011

What to See and Do:
See 2010 Balloon Schedule  for this year’s complete schedule. Our suggestion, if you don’t mind the crowds, would be to visit during the first weekend as there is more to see and do!

One-Day Visit
For a one day visit we would recommend going on Saturday, October 2, Friday October 8, or Saturday, October 9. Here are the must see events on each day:
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– See the Dawn Patrol Show (Saturday October 2, Friday October 8, and Saturday October 9). You must be an early riser for this! Set your alarm clocks and be ready by 5.45 am to watch a selected group of balloons launch prior to sunrise.
– Opening Ceremonies (Saturday October 2). Be introduced formally to the international convention and familiarize yourself with your favorite balloon.
– The Special Shapes Rodeo (Friday October 8 ) is not to be missed. At 6:45 am watch lots of weird and wacky shaped balloons launch from the park. There is an evening event too at 5:45 PM.
– Observe Mass Ascension (Saturday October 2, Saturday October 9). At 7:00 am be ready for a spectacular view of a painted sky when all 700 balloons launch from the park.
– The 6th Annual ECHO Chainsaw Carving Championships (Saturday October 2, Friday October 8, and Saturday October 9). This year ECHO will be carving for the Make-a-Wish Foundation of New Mexico. Come along, view the creation of masterpiece sculptures under the theme: "The Great American Southwest," and support a good cause.
– Experience at night Twilight Twinkle Glow (Saturday October 2). At 8 pm you must watch the breathtaking balloon glows. A time with magic in the air, when all the balloons on the ground fire their burners and light up the dusk sky. Truly an amazing site!
– AfterGlow Fireworks Show (Saturday October 2, Friday October 8, and Saturday October 9). Once the field clears, to wrap up the evening with a bang, sit back and enjoy the lively fireworks display.

Two-Three Day Visit
Our one-day visit covers the main events of the Balloon Fiesta on the each of the following 3 days – Saturday October 2, Friday October 8, and Saturday October 9. If you are planning to attend for more than one day, you can easily spread out the activities across a couple of days you are there and also enjoy the other cultural events and exhibits. Visitors can enjoy live musical performances as you weave your way through the docked balloons, chat with pilots, capture breathtaking photographs and sample traditional fare, such as warm, puffy Navajo fry bread and smoldering tortilla soup.

During one of your mornings, kick start your day with a balloon ride, offered by Rainbow Ryders, then head outside the grounds and visit the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum (which is free on Sunday mornings) for a plethora of information about the art, history and culture of the sport of ballooning.

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Park Map:  Balloon Fiesta Park

Visitor and Information Center: Check out the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau for more information.

Entrance Fees: Admission to the 2010 Balloon Fiesta is $6 for persons over the age of 12.  Children 12 years old and under are admitted free. General Parking is $10 per car for a morning or afternoon session or $50 for the whole event. Advance admission tickets are available in packs of five (5) as a Five-Event Ticket for $25, a $5 discount. Call 1-888-422-7277 extension 303 for ticket information, or purchase them at Balloon Fiesta’s Gift Shop at 4401 Alameda Blvd. NE.

Pets: Pets are not permitted, with the exception of handicap assisting pets.

JoeCamper, EwwwBugs, 4 kids, 2dogs and whatever else fits in my truck.
04 Dodge Ram 1500, 2010 Coleman Avalon

Eastern Pennsylvania
3698 Posts
September 28, 2011 – 11:18 am

The hot air balloon festivale is this coming weekend.  Even if you can’t attend, check out the photos on their website.  Simple amazing!…..-galleries

JoeCamper, EwwwBugs, 4 kids, 2dogs and whatever else fits in my truck.
04 Dodge Ram 1500, 2010 Coleman Avalon

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