My Albuquerque: world’s largest hot air balloon festival (2018)
What colourful and interesting sights of light and balloons you might see, whether it’s your first or the umpteenth time at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Every year beginning the first weekend in October, hundreds of thousands of visitors descend upon central New Mexico to see several hundred hot-air balloons ascend into the skies over the Duke City.
To kick off our time in the American Southwest, we drove into Albuquerque for our first time in the city and to attend our first Balloon Fiesta. We purchased in advance tickets to day 1’s morning session with park-and-ride, day 2’s evening session with park-and-ride, and day 3’s morning session without park-and-ride.
For opening day, clear skies and crisp conditions waited for us as we struggled mightily out of bed, but headed out into the dark of the early morning with great anticipation. Even with massive crowds and some traffic chaos, the long wait was worth the sight of seeing the balloons as oval dots on the horizon and as shapely giants up close.
I have to mention the breakfast chile relleno burritos which everybody recommended we seek and try on the festival grounds. How about a version consisting of a New Mexico green chile stuffed with cheese and batter fried, enveloped in a scrambled egg and cheese mixture, all wrapped in a soft corn tortilla and lightly grilled to provide a little bit of outside crunch and crisp? That’s a big resounding yes to breakfast burritos and big balloons.
Day 1, morning session (6 Oct)
Day 3, morning session (8 Oct)
• Day 1 (6 Oct), morning session: first mass ascension.
• Day 2 (7 Oct), evening session: cancelled due to high winds.
• Day 3 (8 Oct), morning session: cool cloudy conditions, delayed start.
• The numbers for 2018: 567 regular-shape and 96 special-shape balloons, 623 registered pilots, 14 nations represented, over 886-thousand guests. See also the fiesta’s press release here.
• Official 2018 program, on Issuu.
• Independent Travel Cats for their comprehensive look at the festival with more details.
I made all photos above on 6 and 8 October 2018 with a Canon EOS6D mark1. For the festival’s opening day on 6 October 2018, the local times for astronomical twilight dawn, nautical twilight dawn, civil twilight dawn, and sunrise were: 541am, 610am, 640am, and 705am, respectively. Thanks to AB for making this memorable trip possible. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-eQr.
5 Responses to “My Albuquerque: world’s largest hot air balloon festival (2018)”
Wow… Beautiful colors and fun/creative designs. Thank you for the post, Henry! 🙂
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Hi and thanks, Amy! If you haven’t been there before, I definitely recommend going to Albuquerque for their annual balloon festival. I would love to go back, too 🎈😎
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