Well anyone who knows me, knows that I NEVER pass up an opportunity that lands squarely in my lap. Maybe because it’s my personality and I look at opportunities as a gift or maybe, just maybe, I would be afraid that I’d be missing out on something! Either way, when my friends said “come on down” to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, I cleared my calendar and drove to Albuquerque! So happy that I did. What an amazing experience to be part of such grandeur in itself but having the opportunity to actually fly in a balloon in a mass ascension with 600 other balloons was quite honestly, life changing. I am pretty sure that I pinched myself a few times because I was just so grateful to be able to take part in something that so few people have been lucky enough to experience. Plus, it’s pretty nice to have friends with cool hobbies and are wanting to it share with you! I am a lucky gal!
Anyway, just a few things to share about the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. It’s a week long event that began on October 4 and runs through October 12, 2014. The “Fiesta” is the largest convention of balloons in the world! They have limited the number of balloons to 600. From doing some research, in 2009 they had over 1000 balloons! I guess with the lack of places to land that many balloons and for safety concerns they cut that number down! It’s still an amazing sight though!
The days at Fiesta start early! Like 6:30 am early! You really need to see the Dawn Patrol take flight. Our ballooning crew was on the field by 5:45 am! Don’t worry though, there are tons of vendors selling amazing breakfast burritos and hot coffee! Dress warm too. It’s cold until the sun rises over Sandia Peak! On the mass ascension days, the balloons take off in two waves. This makes for quite a site as there are balloons in the air for a least two and a half to three hours! By 10:30-11 am everyone is done and down!
Besides the Dawn Patrol and the Mass Ascensions on the first and second weekend there are many more things to hang out for! Special Shape Rodeo (the huge balloons shaped like animals or other objects), Balloon Glows (Night time event where all the balloons go up and are lit up), America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race, where special long-distance gas balloons are inflated and then launched. The winner is the balloon who travels the longest distance (some balloons have ended up on the East Coast and even Canada)! There are bands playing, fireworks, tons of shopping, a museum and many other activities for the whole family! It’s such a great event and so worth the trip to Albuquerque! Mark your calendars for next year!
Enjoy some of the pictures that I snapped during the event. I think you will agree it’s pretty darn cool.