Oct 5, 2016

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2016

The biggest annual event in Albuquerque is occurring as we speak! That's right, it is Balloon Fiesta time. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which began in 1972, is a hot air balloon festival that happens over a nine day period every year. With over 500 balloons participating, it is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world.

We have made a trek out to Balloon Fiesta Park every year since we moved to Albuquerque in 2014. The last two years, we were able to share the experience with out of state visitors, which makes attending the event even more fun!

Attending the morning session of Balloon Fiesta takes some coordination due to the pre-dawn wake up and the possibility of bad weather. I had been checking the weather all week and it looked like opening day would be perfect for attending. It would be relatively warm and the winds were almost non-existent.

We left the house at around 5 am to drive over to the park with homemade breakfast burritos in tow. It is a tradition to have an early morning breakfast burrito during Balloon Fiesta, and we decided to make our own. They are much tastier anyway! Traffic was a little worse than last year but we wound up parking right across the street from the park. We spent about 15 minutes looking at some of the booths before the Morning Glow was already underway.

If you get to the park early, there is plenty to keep you occupied. There are lots of food and art vendors to shop at. Some people also set up blankets and chairs on the field as they wait. We did not want to wake up earlier than necessary so we arrived relatively close to when things were going to start at 6 am.

It looked like everything was a go to start right on time, so we went to the bathroom and then headed down to the field. Some balloons were already being blown up.

One of things that is unique about Balloon Fiesta and unlike other hot air balloon festivals around the world is that spectators can be on the field where the balloons are being inflated and launching from.

Once 7 am hit, the balloons were taking off.

My most favorite thing about Balloon Fiesta is looking for the special shape balloons. They are so cute!

You can see why Balloon Fiesta is the "most photographed event in the world." As more and more balloons slowly rise above the park, the sky fills up with such colorful, vibrant balloons! Such a cool sight!

This event is a lot of fun for people of all ages, and I can't imagine anything else like it. Coming to Albuquerque to attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is well worth making the trip for! 

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