2011 International Balloon Fiesta

I must say that fall is my favorite time of year in New Mexico.  We have the Burning of Zozobra, the State Fair and then (MY FAVORITE) the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta!  They are all fun events, but the Balloon Fiesta is my absolute favorite, for many reasons.  First, let me explain to you what it is…and show you a video!

The Balloon Fiesta is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world.  It began in 1972, and has filled the New Mexico skies with beautiful hot air balloons every October since.  They began with just 13 hot air balloons and it has grown to over 600 balloons.  It is an amazing sight!  These aren’t just regular  hot air balloons that you see lots of “special shapes” that include bottles, cows, bees, the Wellsfargo carriage, and even a SPIDER PIG!  :)

They have grown to more than just hot air balloons inflating and floating in the sky, there is also a “balloon glow” that happens at night.  These are my favorite!  The balloon inflate at dusk, then the crowd counts down and they burn their burn their lights on high to make the balloons glow.  That is the video I attached at the top.  It is amazing to see them lighting up the night sky.

I also love that the Friday before the Balloon Fiesta begins, each elementary school has 2 hot air balloons come to the school.  Families are able to come to the school early in the morning and see the balloons pulled out, filled up and lift-off without the crazy traffic at the actual Balloon Fiesta.  The kids love it and like being able to see the balloons so close.  We were bummed this year when it was too windy for the balloons to fully inflate, but the kids still had fun.

Now onto the fun stuff……

These are the balloons as they begin to inflate for the balloon glow.


That’s a really big beer!


Look at the crowds of people!  It is insane the amount of people that come here from all over the world!


Spider Pig, Spider Pig, Does Whatever a Spider Pig Does……..


This is mid-glow…so pretty!


By the end of the evening, this is what you have….exhausted kids!  :)


  1. says

    I lived in Albuquerque for a brief time and the main thing I remember was how cool the hot air balloons were – and it seemed like there was always at least 1 or 2 in the sky every morning.

    Very cool! Thanks for posting.

  2. Christine SD says

    I love saying “Albuquerque!” just as much as I love watching hot air balloons floating in the sky!

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