Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Albuquerque’s skies are colorfully painted for nine days during October as hundreds of balloons lift off from the massive Ballon Fiest park. This event is powered by ExxonMobil and is the world’s biggest hot-air balloon festival. The Albuquerque Ballon Fiesta offers scenic views as you walk among the moving picture show of uniquely designed hor air balloons lifting through the crisp fall air. We are sure you’ll feel like you’re dreaming.
The first Ballon Fiesta festival was hosted in 1972 as a highlight of 770 KOB Radio’s 50th birthday celebration. Dick Mckee (the radio station manager) asked Sid Cutter (cutter Flying Service owner) and the first person in New Mexico to own a hot air balloon, if KOB could use his brand new air hot balloon as part of the festivities. Dick and Sid began discussing ballooning, and along with Oscar Kratz’s help, the KOB’s celebration ended with 13 hot air balloons on April 8, 1972. The first event took place in the Coronado Center Shopping Mall’s parking lot with 20,000 spectators and balloonists from all over North America (Arizona, California, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Texas, and Nevada taking part).
The Balloon Fiesta has grown each year since it first started, and nowadays is considered the largest balloon convention worldwide. On any of the nine given days of the festival, the Ballon Fiesta Park can host up to 100,000 spectators on the launch field, where they can have the opportunity to observe the inflation and take-off procedures.