42nd Annual Balloon Festival Takes Albuquerque to the Stars

 Mass Ascension of Ballons
Although much of the nation knows Albuquerque, New Mexico as the site of the popular and just ended television show, “Breaking Bad,” it has always had international recognition for its Annual Balloon Festival.  Each October 100’s of colorful hot air balloons descend upon the valley in sight of the Sandia Mountains.  This is their 42nd year hosting the popular event.



The Enchanted Sunrise Festivities

The Hummingbird Balloon Beginning on October 5 through the 13th they put out a full schedule of events including the new event, music (featuring Darius Rucker and more), balloon rides, the special shape rodeo of balloons, the chainsaw carving Invitational and a daily “Mass Ascension” of balloons in the early morning light.   A special treat, the “Glow” is scheduled for the evening where, in the dark, all the inflated balloons stay on the ground but are magically lit up by the gas burners that fuel their flights.  Following, is the Afterglow Fireworks show, always a favorite.
"The Glow" Evening Event at the Balloon Fiesta 

A full-color Digital program, “Enchanted Sunrise,” is available for free at their site.  This year they boast 600 balloons that are each pictured in the directory along with the 100 special shapes balloons like the Wells Fargo Wagon and porky pig with sunglasses.


Firing up a balloon for flight Albuquerque in Fall, Perfect for Balloons

Although many of the balloons randomly float over and land in yards and parking lots to the delight of residents, there is a particular reason that this location and time of year is especially perfect for the event.  According to an Associated Press article, what makes Albuquerque in October ideal for such an event are its typically clear skies; cool, often cold, mornings; and what is known as the Albuquerque "box" that is created by the unique mountain formations and weather patterns. When the box is in effect, the lower winds blow south and higher winds blow north, meaning balloonists can travel one direction, and then backtrack to land near their launch site by changing elevation. That keeps the colorful balloons bobbing over the city rather than drifting away.
Photos courtesy of Sonia of Nana's Better Batter 

The photographs are all courtesy of a dear friend, Sonia Smith of Nana's Better Batter, who visited the Festival last year and fell in love with the colors.  It truly is a photographer’s paradise. 
Update: The hummingbird balloon is courtesy of Facebook friend Lesley Espinosa. 

So where are y’all headed this fall?  Whether you RV or just take a fall vacation, share your favorite fall destination below in the comments.

 Teri Blaschke of Hidden Valley RV Park Teri Blaschke is the RV Park operator of family owned HiddenValley RV Park in San Antonio, TX and writer of the park blog “A Little Piece of Country in San Antonio.” Teri contributes to various other blogs with a focus on either travel or social media and how it relates to the outdoor hospitality industry but her passion is serving the RV travel community by providing a memorable RV camping experience and growing the Hidden Valley RV family.  Connect with , Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter@HiddenValleyRV and our RV Country Daily Magazine and don't forget to Say hello to the voice of Hidden Valley 

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