This weekend marked the beginning of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. If you’re not familiar, Balloon Fiesta is the largest hot air ballooning event in the world with over 600 balloons participating. Attracting hundreds of thousands of people every year, running through the first weekend in October, Balloon Fiesta combines the feel of a state fair with an aviation event.
One thing that makes Balloon Fiesta unique is that patrons can walk through the entire 78 acre launch field. You’re not confined to watch the events from bleachers or from behind a fence. You’re standing next to the balloons as they’re inflated and launched. You can speak directly with pilots and other crew members.
And you may even have the opportunity to ride in a hot air balloon or be a part of a chase crew.
Until you see it for yourself, it’s hard to appreciate the massive spectacle that is Balloon Fiesta. From the early morning hours of dawn patrol watching the balloons light up the dark sky to being surrounded by the widely colorful and creative balloons during mass ascension, there isn’t anything comparable.
If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend making a trip to Albuquerque for Balloon Fiesta. Just make sure you build in flexibility as the balloons won’t launch when the weather is poor or in windy conditions.
If you do make it out here, please let me know. In addition to the balloons, I’ll fill you in on the best Mexican food places in town. And maybe we can get together and talk a little personal finance over margaritas and green chile queso.
Has anyone attended the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta? I would love to hear about your experience.