Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2016
Hot Air Balloons for Days
One of the perks of moving to Albuquerque for me was the opportunity to attend the International Balloon Fiesta. I’ve wanted to photograph the event for as long as I can remember. Seeing amazing photos of all the balloons in the sky left me in awe. I attended a smaller ballooning event in Louisiana and that fueled my desire to attend Albuquerque’s event.
October 1, 2016, I officially crossed the International Balloon Fiesta off my extensive bucket list. Woo Hoo! Hearing the burners flame up and fill the balloons with hot air is incredible. They are so amazingly graceful as they lift off. I have never seem so many beautifully colored balloons before. It was amazing!
Balloonists come from all over the world to participate in the fiesta. It’s held the first week of October, when New Mexico’s temperatures start to cool. However, it’s also at the end of monsoon season can bring unfavorable winds. The organizers post on social media when there is a delay or cancellation due to weather.
Watching the teams prepare their balloons for lift off gave visitors a glimpse into the work that goes into ballooning. Each balloon has a set time to set up and lift off. This creates a wave of balloons filling the skies.
The teams are vital in helping the pilots. If you want to learn more about ballooning, there are opportunities to volunteer as part of a Chase Crew.
You have a front row seat to watch the process
As you can imagine, traffic is a challenge. There are parking lots in the surrounding area and shuttles offered, so you will have to decide what is the best choice for you. Numerous food and souvenir tents line the main walkway. Some people brought lawn chairs and blankets to make a day of it.
After the morning mass ascension, there aren’t many activities until later in the day. You can leave and return for the evening events, but be ready to pay for parking and entrance again. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to return for the evening glow and fireworks. However, I will make it next year, for sure!
My favorite photos from the morning!
Although I don’t focus on ‘my list’, checking the Balloon Fiesta off my bucket list was very rewarding. It was everything I hoped for. I can’t wait till next year!