The famous Albuquerque International Balloon festival holds the record of being the biggest festival of its kind in the world. As the name depicts, it is a hot air balloon festival that takes place every year in Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States of America. The event continues till 9 whole days and almost five hundred hot air balloons are flown each year during this very festival. It all started at the 50th birthday of the famous 770 KOB Radio. The idea was put forth by the manager of the radio station Dick Mckee. From then onwards, it has been evolving and the number of participants has been increasing since then.
Like every year, the Albuquerque international balloon festival would begin on the 1st of October and continue till the 9th of October. Its events would include dawn patrol, Krispy Kreme morning glow, mass ascension, laser light show, Chainsaw carving invitational, challenges, and music festivals.
Main Events Dawn Patrol
It was initiated in the balloon festival of 1978. The dawn patrol crew takes off their balloons just before the sun rises and remains in the air till the evening. This helps the balloonists taking part in the fiesta to get to know about the velocity of wind.
During mass ascension, all the balloons are ascended in a coordinated fashion. The people monitoring the launch process, known as zebras, make sure that all balloons are launched at the same time and fix any issue related to it.
Special Shape Rodeo
Differently shaped balloons are ascended collectively during this event. The shapes mostly include soda cans, animals, bees, and vehicles. Families especially come to see this particular event.
With the help of special propane burners, the balloons are lighted up. These balloons are meant for remaining static and are not ascended during the fiesta.
Other Special Events
The Fiesta Challenge
In fiesta challenge, the balloonists try to drop their balloons as near to the target line as possible. The one whose balloon drops nearest to the target line is declared the winner and gets a prize.
America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race
Gas balloons especially created for long-distance flight are launched during this competition. The one whose balloon goes the farthest wins the competition.
The Flight of the Nations Mass Ascension
During this special event, balloonists belonging to different nations of the world launch balloons exactly at one time while waving their country’s flag and singing national anthem. The spectacle is mind blowing.
Other Competitions and Events
The fiesta also includes various other events like concerts, wine festival, fireworks, car show and competitions related to balloon flight.