The Albuquerque International Balloon Festival is a Must See

Gretta Alumbaugh, Staff Writer

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is on many people’s bucket list but not many people from this area have taken the four hour drive to experience the hundreds of air balloons that are released at sunrise.

Earlier this month, I got the chance to see the different color air balloons fill the morning sky. This year was the largest balloon fiesta to date with over 700 balloons being flown by people all over the United States. Many of the balloons were advertisements for companies or there are balloons that were made just for people’s enjoyment.

Just before sunrise the first balloon lifts to assure that the weather is ideal for the release of the balloons. Once its been verified, the balloons start to slowly fill and take turns being released. From sunrise until 10 a.m. over 700 balloons had been launched into the air.  

The balloon fiesta isn’t just known for the air balloons, they also have a week long list of events. From sunrise to sunset there is activities taking place such as, competitive games and live bands. The fiesta also has over 50 food vendors which offer breakfast, lunch and dinner along with many shops selling merchandise.

While enjoying the fiesta, you have a backdrop of the mountains and the 78-acre launching field which is equal to 54 football fields.  Plan to walk the field and keep your face turned up to the sky while enjoying the fall crisp air.

If beautiful air balloons, mountains, food, and fun activities interests you, then you should go to the Albuquerque balloon fiesta, but you have to start planning now. The hotel’s book up nearly a year before and cost twice as much. Also, plan to wake up at 4 a.m., wait 2 hours to get in the gate, and pay $10 a person, but in my opinion the Balloon fiesta is a site everyone should see.