Festival Essentials: Celebrate the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

5:14:00 PM La Mesa RV 1 Comments


Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is an annual festival of hot air balloons taking place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA during early October. The Balloon Fiesta is a nine-day event, and with over 500 balloons each year. The event is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world.

The Balloon Fiesta began in 1972 as the highlight of a 50th birthday celebration for 770 KOB Radio. Radio station manager Dick McKee asked Sid Cutter, owner of Cutter Flying Service and the first person to own a hot air balloon in New Mexico, if KOB could use his new hot-air balloon as part of the festivities. The two began discussing ballooning.The first fiesta ended up as a gathering of 13 balloons on April 8, 1972, sponsored by KOB.

The first fiesta was located in the parking lot of the Coronado Center Shopping Mall with over 20,000 spectators and with balloonists from Arizona, California, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada and Texas took part. McKee. The first fiesta incorporated a "Roadrunner-Coyote Balloon Race" (a "hare-and-hounds" race elsewhere in the world) with 1 balloon being the "Roadrunner" and the others being "Coyote" balloons (the "Roadrunner" balloon was actually emblazoned with likenesses of both Warner Bros. characters). The winner of the race - the "Coyote" that landed closest to the Roadrunner - was Don Piccard of the noted aerostation dynasty, flying a balloon of his company's design and construction (his wife also placed in the race). This race has continued as part of the Balloon Fiesta today.
Take a ride in the La Mesa Balloon. One of the best at the fiesta
In 1973, Albuquerque hosted the first World Hot-Air Balloon Championships in February and the fiesta became an international event. In 1975 Albuquerque was looking at hosting the World Championships again, but the event was scheduled for October. So the fiesta was moved to correspond with the championships. To maintain interest in Albuquerque’s bid to host the championships, a balloon rally was held in February of that year. Autumn being a far better flying time than February, the event has remained in early October to the present day.
The Balloon Fiesta has grown for decades, and today is the largest balloon convention in the world. The number of registered balloons reached a peak of 1,019 in 2000, prompting the Balloon Fiesta Board to limit the number to 750 starting in 2001, citing a desire for "quality over quantity". The limit was changed to 600 in 2009 — citing recent growth in the city and a loss of landing zones. On any given day during the festival, up to 100,000 spectators may be on the launch field where they are provided the rare opportunity to observe inflation and take off procedures. Countless more people gather at landing sites all over the city to watch incoming balloons.

Events

Check out the Dawn Patrol. It's one of the featured events

The Dawn Patrol began at the Balloon Fiesta in 1978, when two California balloonists developed position lighting systems that allowed them to fly at night. Dawn Patrol pilots take off before sunrise and fly until it is light enough to see landing sites. Fellow balloonists appreciate the Dawn Patrol because they can watch the balloons and get an early idea of wind speeds and directions at different altitudes.

Mass Ascensions

One of the biggest events of the fiesta is a mass ascension where all participating balloons launch in two waves, filling the sky with hundreds of balloons at once. Launch directors, also known as “zebras” because of their black-and-white-striped outfits, serve as “traffic cops,” coordinating the launch so balloons leave the field in a safe and coordinated manner.

Artistic Vision

Many local artists take advantage of the balloons as favorite subject matter for their vacations. Balloons often land in Albuquerque neighborhoods. Many residents watch the balloons from the comfort of their backyards.

Special Shape Rodeo

Many non-traditional, uniquely shaped balloons are launched at the same time. Some of the most famous shapes include a milk cow, a wagon coach, twin bees, and many others like soda pop cans and animals. This is the most popular part of the event as families can see how balloons can be all different in shapes and sizes.

Balloon Glows

Balloon Glow is breathtaking to see.
Large numbers of balloons are illuminated at night by their propane burners. They stand static and do not take off during these events. The "Glowdeo" is a night glow for the special shapes balloons.

Special Events and Competitions

Various events like:
·         The Fiesta Challenge, a game where balloonists attempt to drop a marker closest to a target.
·         America's Challenge Gas Balloon Race, where special long-distance gas balloons are inflated and then launched. The winner of the race is the balloon that travels the farthest. Some balloons in the race have gone as far as Canada and the U.S. East Coast.
·         The Flight of the Nations Mass Ascension, where balloonists from each nation launch, one at a time, to their national anthem and waving their nation's flag.
·         Other piloting, skill, and speed competitions.


Albuquerque box



Part of the reason for the success of the Fiesta are the cool Albuquerque morning temperatures in October and the Albuquerque box. The "box" is a set of predictable wind patterns that can be exploited to navigate the balloons. At low elevations the winds tend to be northerly (from the north), but at higher elevations they tend to be southerly. Balloonists use these winds to navigate in a vertical box: they ascend slightly from the launch park, move south, ascend further, move north, descend, and repeat the box or land back in the launch park or quite nearby. During events involving on-field targets, such as the "Key Grab" (where pilots attempt to grab prizes, including a set of keys to a new vehicle, from atop tall, flexible poles), it's not uncommon to see the same balloon make 5 or 6 passes at the targets, simply by working the "Box" to keep returning to the field.



If you want to take a break during these events and discover another fabulous event that is going on during the festival, come visit our RV Super Show at the Convention center in downtown Albuquerque.
Enjoy massive savings on the RV of your dreams at the 10-day RV Show at the held in conjunction with the Balloon Fiesta, September29th to October 9th where you will find everything from motorhomes, travel trailers, diesel pushers and fifth wheels, all at an unbeatable price.

This is a fantastic opportunity to discover the fun and excitement that an RV can offer you and your family. But hurry, these special deals won’t last!

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1 comment:

  1. Very interesting graphics! It's a good example for students who reading this blog and trying to buy essays online for college. These festivals are always a good way to spend a free time for young people. There you will surely have a good time and will meet a lot of nice and interesting people in communion with whom you will always feel like a fish in water.

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