Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta: A Must-See Event

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the largest hot air balloon event in the world, attracting visitors from around the globe. This annual hot air balloon festival takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the Balloon Fiesta Park. It is a spectacle that shouldn’t be missed, offering a magical experience for anyone who loves hot air balloons and vibrant festivals.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the largest hot air balloon event in the world.
  • The festival takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the Balloon Fiesta Park.
  • It is a must-see event for hot air balloon enthusiasts and those seeking a unique and vibrant festival experience.

Things to Do During Balloon Fiesta

In addition to watching the hot air balloon ascents and glows, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy during the Balloon Fiesta. Visitors can take balloon rides to get a unique perspective of the festival from the air. The special shapes rodeo showcases balloons in various unique designs, such as cartoon characters and animals. There are also parachute jumps and a spectacular fireworks display. Balloon competitions add an element of excitement to the event, with pilots showcasing their skills in various tasks.

Activities during Balloon Fiesta:

  • Take balloon rides and enjoy panoramic views of the festival
  • Watch the special shapes rodeo showcasing unique balloon designs
  • Experience adrenaline with parachute jumps
  • Be mesmerized by the spectacular fireworks display
  • Witness the thrill of balloon competitions

Whether you want to soar high in a hot air balloon, marvel at the creativity of special shape balloons, experience the thrill of parachute jumps, enjoy a dazzling fireworks display, or cheer on the balloon pilots in their competitions, the Balloon Fiesta offers a variety of activities to suit every interest.

Explore Albuquerque Beyond the Balloon Fiesta

While attending the Balloon Fiesta, visitors can also explore the city of Albuquerque. There are plenty of activities to enjoy beyond the festival grounds, ensuring a well-rounded experience. Here are some popular options:

Ride the Tram

Experience breathtaking views of the city by riding the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway. This scenic tram takes you up to the top of the Sandia Mountains, offering panoramic vistas of Albuquerque and the surrounding landscape.

Try Green Chile

No visit to Albuquerque is complete without trying the iconic green chile, a local favorite. Sample dishes such as green chile stew, green chile cheeseburgers, or green chile enchiladas for a taste of authentic New Mexican cuisine.

Take Guided Tours

Immerse yourself in the city’s history and culture by taking guided tours. Explore the city by bike, visit popular attractions, or join a walking tour of historic neighborhoods. Knowledgeable guides will provide fascinating insights into Albuquerque’s rich heritage.

Explore Historic Old Town

Step back in time and explore the charming streets of historic Old Town. This well-preserved neighborhood is home to adobe buildings, art galleries, shops, restaurants, and museums. Discover the city’s cultural heritage through its architecture, artwork, and local traditions.

Engage in Outdoor Activities

For outdoor enthusiasts, Albuquerque offers a range of exciting activities. Hike the trails in the Sandia Mountains for stunning views and a chance to spot wildlife. Visit the Petroglyph National Monument, where ancient rock carvings tell the story of the region’s indigenous cultures.

Whether it’s riding the tram for breathtaking views, indulging in green chile, taking guided tours, exploring historic Old Town, or engaging in outdoor activities, Albuquerque has something for everyone. Make the most of your visit to the city and experience all that it has to offer beyond the Balloon Fiesta.

Events and Attractions During Balloon Fiesta

During the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, visitors can enjoy a variety of exciting events and attractions that showcase the rich culture and vibrant energy of the city. Here are some highlights:

Harvest Festival

The Harvest Festival at the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden is a must-visit event during the Balloon Fiesta. This festive celebration offers a delightful combination of treats, local brews, and live music. It’s a great opportunity to indulge in delicious food, sample craft beers from the region, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.

New Mexico Brew Fest

If you’re a fan of craft beers, make sure to check out the New Mexico Brew Fest. This event showcases a wide selection of unique and flavorful craft beers from breweries across the state. It’s a fantastic opportunity to discover new favorites and experience the vibrant beer culture of New Mexico.

ABQ Grecian Festival

Experience the rich and lively Greek culture at the ABQ Grecian Festival. With authentic Greek food, traditional music, and lively dance performances, this event offers a taste of Greece right in the heart of Albuquerque. Explore the vibrant stalls, indulge in delicious Greek cuisine, and immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere.

Albuquerque Folk Festival

If you’re a fan of folk music, you’ll love the Albuquerque Folk Festival. This event brings together talented folk musicians from around the region, showcasing their skills on multiple stages. Attend workshops, enjoy live performances, and immerse yourself in the enchanting world of folk music at this lively festival.

Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival

For art enthusiasts, the Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival is a must-see attraction during the Balloon Fiesta. This festival features a wide range of fine arts and crafts created by talented artists from across the country. Explore the colorful booths, admire beautiful artwork, and find unique treasures to bring home as a memento of your visit.

With these events and attractions, the Balloon Fiesta offers not only breathtaking balloon ascents but also a vibrant cultural experience. Visitors can immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere and explore the diverse offerings of Albuquerque.

Event Description
Harvest Festival Offers festive treats, local brews, and live music at the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden.
New Mexico Brew Fest A great opportunity to sample craft beers from the region.
ABQ Grecian Festival Celebrates Greek culture with food, music, and dance.
Albuquerque Folk Festival Showcases the best of folk music with multiple stages and workshops.
Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival Features fine arts and crafts from artists across the country.

Practical Tips for Attending Balloon Fiesta

When attending the Balloon Fiesta, there are a few practical tips to keep in mind to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.


Tickets for the Balloon Fiesta can be purchased online in advance or at the gate. Buying tickets online allows you to skip the line and guarantees entry to the event. It is recommended to purchase tickets early, especially for popular days, to secure your spot and avoid disappointment.


Due to the high demand for accommodation during the Balloon Fiesta, it is advisable to book your lodging in advance. Hotels in the area tend to fill up quickly, so securing your stay ahead of time will ensure you have a comfortable place to rest after a day of festivities. Additionally, consider staying at hotels near the Balloon Fiesta Park for convenient access to the event.

RV Camping

If you prefer a unique and immersive experience, RV camping near the event field is available. This offers the convenience of being close to the action and allows you to soak in the festive atmosphere throughout your stay. Be sure to make reservations well in advance, as RV camping spots also tend to fill up quickly.


Parking near the Balloon Fiesta Park can be limited and crowded during the event. To avoid any parking-related stress, it is recommended to arrive early to secure a spot. Another option is to use the Park&Ride service, which provides shuttle transportation from designated parking areas to the event site. This service offers convenience and eliminates the need to search for parking on-site.

Best Days to Attend

While every day of the Balloon Fiesta is special, there are certain days that offer unique experiences worth considering. The mass ascension, where all the balloons take flight, is a breathtaking spectacle that shouldn’t be missed. Additionally, the evening balloon glows provide a magical atmosphere as the balloons are illuminated against the night sky. It’s recommended to check the official Balloon Fiesta schedule for specific events happening on each day and plan accordingly.

Tips for Attending Balloon Fiesta Benefits
Purchase tickets online Guaranteed entry, skip the queue
Book lodging in advance Secure a convenient place to stay
Consider RV camping Closer to the action, immersive experience
Arrive early or use Park&Ride Ensure parking availability, convenience
Attend mass ascension and balloon glows Witness breathtaking balloon flights and illuminations


The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the premier event for hot air balloon enthusiasts, offering an extraordinary experience that should not be missed. From the breathtaking ascents to the mesmerizing balloon glows, this world-renowned festival captivates visitors with its magical display of color and creativity. Whether you’re a fan of the balloon activities or looking to explore the city of Albuquerque, the Balloon Fiesta has something for everyone.

With a wide range of events and attractions, the Balloon Fiesta promises non-stop excitement and entertainment. Witness the spectacle of special shape balloons and be amazed by the skillful pilots competing in lively competitions. Beyond the festival grounds, Albuquerque offers countless opportunities for adventure, from riding the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway to indulging in delectable New Mexican cuisine.

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is an unforgettable experience that showcases the beauty and wonder of hot air ballooning. Whether you’re a first-time attendee or a seasoned Balloon Fiesta enthusiast, this event promises to leave you in awe. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the excitement at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *