Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2016

Hot Air Balloons for Days

balloon; fiesta; hot air; pilot; flame; fire; basket; albuquerque; new mexico; international; octoberOne 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!

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Moon and Stars

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Aye Matey!

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Balloons! Balloons!

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

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Preparing the balloon

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Firing things up!

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Holding the guide line as the balloon fills with hot air

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Getting the basket ready

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Lift off!

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Up a little higher

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!

balloon; fiesta; hot air; pilot; flame; fire; basket; albuquerque; new mexico; international; october

My favorite shot of the day!

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Perspective

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!

Have you been to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta?

Is it on your Bucket List? 

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Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

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Nancie Lee

Nancie Lee is a freelance photographer and inspired writer with an insatiable desire to explore the world. Her website, Aperture Of My Soul combines her love for photography with her love of travel. Engaging others to pursue their greatest authentic life, she inspires them to "adventure boldly on their journey".

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3 Responses

  1. Andrew Scott says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Nancie. Looking at your photos brings back one of my favorite childhood memories–getting a chance to take a hot air balloon over southern California! OH, and at the time I happened to be reading ‘The Twenty-One Balloons’. Seeing this has convinced me to get aboard one the next time I have the opportunity!

  2. Anisa says:

    Great photos. I have been wanting to go to the festival for years. Hopefully one day! Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard

  3. David says:

    These hot air balloons are gorgeous! Floating in a balloon is a fantastic experience but its also nice to just sit and watch them go up and away. I like how you captured the whole process, with some great photos too! Nice one. #theWeeklyPostcard

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