The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a "must do." Fall in New Mexico is a time of cooler temperatures and brilliant colors. The Aspen forests in the north paint the mountainsides. Albuquerque hosts wine and arts and crafts festivals. But what most visitors look forward to in fall is the colorful International Balloon Festival.
When: October 2 - 10, 2010
What you will see: Hundreds of balloonists representing one-third of the world’s countries will launch their magnificent flying machines to float gently over the beautiful New Mexico landscape. The Fiesta includes such events as evening fireworks, mass ascensions, balloon glows, the Special Shapes Rodeo, and the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race.
Where: Balloon Fiesta Park is located north of Alameda Boulevard, one mile west of I-25. There are shuttles to the park as well as places to park your car.
Balloon Fiesta Park address is 5000 Balloon Fiesta Parkway NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113
Latitude N 35º 11.8’ Longitude W 106º 35.8’
Planning and Booking Your Trip
Booking early is key to getting the best rates and to being able to stay near Balloon Park. Through Kayak, you have access to the best rates through most all the booking search engines:
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Best of the Fiesta: The glow at dawn or dusk is not only beautiful, it is the best time to take balloon photos. According to festival organizers, dawn or dusk create beautiful lighting opportunities where the warmth of "Balloon Glow" blends with velvet blue of muted skylight. Photographers call this "the jewel box effect". More than 700 balloons launch from 72 grass-covered acres at Balloon Fiesta Park where guests can find opportunities to interact with pilots and their crews as they inflate and launch their balloons from the field.
The Festival has spots for you but you must reserve early. Hurry and make your reservations now to assure the type of site you prefer. Our four site types include Standard (dry camping), Premium (low pressure water and electricity with 20 Amps minimum), VIP (dry camping adjacent to the launch field with entry passes included) and President's Compound (premier sites on a bluff overlooking the launch field with city water pressure and 30 Amp minimum electricity).
Planning for the Future
Future Balloon Fiesta dates are as follows:
2011 - October 1 - 9>
Tickets: Purchase tickets in advance.
Packing: You will need to dress in layers. Albuquerque is one of those mile high cities. At night or in early morning it can get quite chilly.
As the sun comes out, you will need sunscreen and sunglasses.
For night events, bring a flashlight.
Of course, bring your camera. Pack high speed film. Twilight and night are low levels of light which require high speed films, like Kodacolor Royal Gold 1000 to Twilight and night are low levels of light which require high speed films, such as 800 or 1000 speeds.
Take a peek at our Balloon Fiesta Photo Gallery.