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Monday, 4 November 2019

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2019

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2019


The albuquerque international balloon fiesta® is a yearly hot air balloon festival that takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, during early October. The Balloon Fiesta is a nine-day event occurring in the first full week of October, and has over 500 hot air balloons each year. The event is the largest balloon festival in the world.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2019

How Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Starts


The Balloon Fiesta began in 1972 as the highlight of a 50th birthday celebration for 770 KOB Radio. Radio station manager Dick McKee asked Sid Cutter, owner of Cutter Flying Service and the first person to own a hot air balloon in New Mexico, if KOB could use his new hot-air balloon as part of the festivities. The two began discussing ballooning, along with conversation and help from Oscar Kratz, and McKee asked what the largest gathering of hot air balloons to date had been. 19 balloons in England, Cutter replied. Kratz asked "Can we get 19 here?" Cutter agreed to try. He got commitments from 21 pilots, but bad weather kept some of them from arriving in time. The first fiesta ended up as a gathering of 13 balloons on April 8, 1972, sponsored by KOB. The first event was located in the parking lot of the Coronado Center Shopping Mall with 20,000 spectators and with balloonists from Arizona, California, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada and Texas taking part. McKee, Cutter, and Kratz are the three men who had originally started the balloon races.The first fiesta incorporated a "Roadrunner-Coyote Balloon Race" (a "hare-and-hounds" race elsewhere in the world) with 1 balloon being the "Roadrunner" and the others being "Coyote" balloons (the "Roadrunner" balloon was actually emblazoned with likenesses of both Warner Bros. characters). The winner of the race - the "Coyote" that landed closest to the Roadrunner - was Don Piccard of the noted aerostation dynasty, flying a balloon of his company's design and construction (his wife also placed in the race). This race has continued as part of the Balloon Fiesta today.

The next year Albuquerque hosted the first World Hot-Air Balloon Championships in February and the fiesta became an international event. In 1975 Albuquerque was looking at hosting the World Championships again, but the event was scheduled for October. So the fiesta was moved to correspond with the championships. To maintain interest in Albuquerque's bid to host the championships, a balloon rally was held in February of that year. Autumn being a far better flying time than February, the event has remained in early October to the present day.

The Balloon Fiesta grew each year for decades, and today is the largest balloon convention in the world. The number of registered balloons reached a peak of 1,019 in 2000, prompting the Balloon Fiesta Board to limit the number to 750 starting in 2001,citing a desire for "quality over quantity". The limit was changed to 600 in 2009 –; citing recent growth in the city and a loss of landing zones. On any given day during the festival, up to 100,000 spectators may be on the launch field where they are provided the rare opportunity to observe inflation and take off procedures. Countless more people gather at landing sites all over the city to watch incoming balloons.

This event, we guarantee, is like nothing you’ve ever seen before in your entire life! Imagine a sky filled with hundreds of different coloured hot air balloons floating in the air. You can turn this imagination into a reality when you visit the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, held every year in Ne Mexico, and witness over 500 air balloons fly over your head, creating an almost magical kind of atmosphere for the visitors. Not only watching, but you will also have an opportunity to fly up on a hot air balloon as well here, making it one of the best festivals in the US.

Additional Info: The hot air balloon rides are charged, and you can inquire about the prices at the venue.
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Dates 2019: 5 Oct 2019 – 13 Oct 2019

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