Wed. Feb 19th, 2020

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Albuquerque’s Greatest Show On (and Above) Earth

3 min read

Albuquerque’s azure skies become a surreal sight in early Oct, as dragons, cows, princesses and even Darth Vader and Yoda just take flight during the once-a-year Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico.

Sponsored by Canon this year the themed “Exactly where Desires Just take Flight,” the world’s greatest balloon pageant and most photographed function on the earth sees much more than 550 very hot-air balloons from eighteen nations around the world and forty five states elevate off day by day during the initially week of Oct.

All over the week, an estimated 500,000 folks will go to the early-early morning launches and night balloon glows.

Yoda from “Star Wars” delights spectators at the 2014 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. He, his close friend Darth Vader and 548 other balloons – practically 100 of which are unique shape balloons – return to Albuquerque the initially week of Oct. — Image courtesy of Steve Larese

New for 2015, Parabatix is a group of international freestyle paramotor (motorized paragliders) pilots that will race and conduct acrobatics over the balloon discipline following early morning ballooning functions. 

Also new this year, laser gentle reveals will just take position mornings and evenings, with laser art utilizing inflated balloons as screens in displays choreographed to new music.

All over the week, balloons start in waves beginning at 5:thirty a.m. In the evenings, tethered balloons generate a forest of glowing coloration all through the 78-acre grass discipline, adopted by fireworks.

Ballooning competitions examination pilots’ competencies as they contend for prizes, this kind of as trying to hit floor targets with beanbags.

Hundreds of sellers offer every thing from breakfast burritos to collectable ballooning pins.

Saturday, Oct. 10, sees the New music Fiesta headlining The Band Perry, with opening functions Gloriana and Two Way Crossing.

New music commences at 1:fifteen p.m., and New music Fiesta-goers are admitted to the pursuing Balloon Glow and fireworks for no added cost. Tickets start out at $eight, with reserved seating at $fifty.

Basic parking is $10 for every session, and admission is $eight for every early morning and night periods. Young children twelve decades and young are admitted absolutely free.

Park and Trip buses keep away from the website traffic and just take visitors straight to the park for $twenty complete. Free bicycle storage is readily available for those who’d prefer to pedal to this 1-of-a-form function.

Website visitors really should don layered apparel, as the mornings can be chilly. But it rapidly warms up when the sunshine crests the Sandía Mountains.

Carry income, way too, as some of the foods and craft booths do not take credit history cards.

For a new way to expertise the balloons, look at a guided kayaking excursion on the Rio Grande to see balloons drifting along the river, and keep away from the website traffic and get some exercising with the Routes Bicycle Rentals Balloon Fiesta Bike Tour.

Just after the balloons have landed, make positive to examine the rest of Albuquerque’s numerous exceptional points of interest, this kind of as its Sandia Aerial Tramway, 1 of the longest in the environment.

Or prevent in at 1 of the very best dining places in the vicinity of the balloon fiesta grounds.

The 2015 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. three, to Sunday, Oct. eleven. For a entire listing of functions, check out the balloon fiesta’s site. 

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