albuquerque, New mexico

October 4-12, 2014

9 DAYS – saturday THROUGH sunday

Balloon Fiesta activities are centered at the Balloon Fiesta Park, 5000 Balloon Fiesta Parkway, Albuquerque, New Mexico.  An admission is charged.  However, the balloons can be easily seen over much of Albuquerque, New Mexico; concentrations depend mostly upon which way the winds are blowing at the time of the launch.  Since winds can change direction during a launch, different balloons can be sent off in different directions.

Light balloons in the dark

Light balloons in the dark

The Balloon Fiesta begins about 5:45 on the first Saturday of the festival with the music and pageantry of Dawn Patrol.  The first mass ascension of the season is at 6:00.

Once launched, the elevation of a balloon can be determined by the balloon pilot.  Releasing hot air can send a balloon lower, releasing sand (from bags) can send a balloon higher.  A blast of fire (the fuel is propane) can also increase the elevation of a balloon.

It is not uncommon for balloons to “skirt housetops” and the tops of trees as they pass low across the Albuquerque landscape.  Balloons land in parks, parking lots, and even backyards.  The chase vehicle tries to anticipate the landing location so that the balloon and its passengers can be quickly collected and can often be returned to the launch site for another great launch.

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