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Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

In October the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta creates an enchanted world of special shape balloon rodeos, twilight balloon glows, and vibrant balloon-filled skies.

The fiesta is from October 7-15 2023

Inside the park there is many things to do:

Main Street

During ballooning events, be sure to visit this one-third mile stretch at Balloon Fiesta Park where you will find a plethora of great food vendors, unique merchandise, and hands-on exhibits.

Dawn Patrol/Dawn Patrol Show

Watch balloons take flight in a celestial predawn dance during this choreographed display. The Dawn Patrol is more than an airy promenade; it is also a chance for pilots to determine the day’s winds at the layers above the ground and for early bird guests to send our balloonists off with a cheer. The Dawn Patrol Show occurs on Mass Ascension Days.

Mass Ascensions

Witness hundreds of prismatic balloons lift off and fill the horizon in this unforgettable, two-wave mass ascension. An excellent photo op, so be sure to experience the drama and serenity of ballooning in this popular weekend and Wednesday morning event lasting up to two hours.

Special Shape RodeoTM and GlowdeoTM

We wouldn’t be a Balloon Fiesta without a little rodeo thrown in or should we say GlowdeoTM! These unique events showcase some of the most uniquely shaped balloons at our event, such as a family of bees, a cow, and some of your favorite childhood characters in an AM flight and a PM glow.

Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta will be hosting the 66th Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett, The FAI World Long Distance Gas Balloon Championship, and the world’s oldest gas balloon race. The first race started from Paris, France in 1906. It is the ultimate challenge for pilots, and is the most prestigious event in aviation. The race requires great skill and courage from those participating. The objective is simple: to fly the furthest non-stop distance from the launch site.

Flight of the Nations – Mid-Week Mass Ascension
During this mid-week flight, preceding the Mass Ascension, select pilots of participating countries will carry their country’s flag during this multinational flight. This exciting event recognizes the international ballooning community that participates in Balloon Fiesta to help make it the largest of its kind in the world.

Twilight Twinkle GlowTM, Balloon GlowTM, and Night MagicTM Glow
Celebrated for their ethereal whimsy, these events are among the most widely anticipated of the Balloon Fiesta. At twilight the burners of tethered balloons are ignited, illuminating the night with colorfully glowing envelopes that guests can wander amongst before enjoying the AfterGlowTM Fireworks show.


Double launches on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday offer the best shows at the Balloon Fiesta. They combine the launch of hundreds of balloons from the Launch Field with the allure of hundreds more maneuvering to the Launch Field for their chance at prizes and fame, creating a theatrical ebb and flow of color in the sky. Through our various competitions during the Balloon Fiesta, pilots can demonstrate their flying finesse, control, and accuracy while competing with international peers for points and prizes.

AfterGlowTM Fireworks

Following each glow event the night blooms with the most spectacular fireworks show in the state. Bring your blankets and chairs for this popular extravaganza. Shows begin as soon as the Launch Field is clear of balloons. Once the balloons are glowing, only outbound traffic is allowed, so attendees who wish to watch the show must arrive at the park for the beginning of the evening’s glow event. Starting times are approximate and subject to change without notice.

Fiesta Camp 505

Camp 505 offers a more affordable option for guests interested in camping during Balloon Fiesta.

The Gondola Club

Make Balloon Fiesta the most comfortable experience possible by purchasing a morning or evening session at the Gondola Club where you can watch the festivities from the most scenic location at the park. The club is a VIP area that offers convenient parking, private seating, gourmet food service and open bar, luxury bathrooms, shuttle service, and live entertainment during evening sessions.

Chasers’ Club

With the purchase of a Chasers’ Club AM or PM ticket, you get the chance to upgrade your Balloon Fiesta experience to a more upscale setting. This club is in a reserved area at the north end of the field. It includes luxury bathrooms and an outdoor patio with an exce- ptional view of the field from which you can enjoy a cocktail and light buffet and pastries while watching the day’s balloons take to the sky or glow.

Concierge Program

For the ultimate, insider’s VIP experience you can arrange for your own concierge to be your tour guide while at the Balloon Fiesta. You will experience the event from all angles of the launch field. You can shop at our many concession booths, and end your session with a visit to the Balloon Museum. This service is perfect for Balloon Fiesta first-timers, photographers, guests with mobility issues or guests who want to see all they can in one session.


Experience the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in a whole new way – Glamping! Tents are available in an exclusive location in Balloon Fiesta Park. Enjoy spectacular views of the balloons flying high against a stunning background of the Sandia Mountains from the tent village. In this exclusive location you will have access to restroom and shower trailers, as well as a hospitality area with grills, games and lounge chairs. No need to battle the traffic, you’ll be within walking distance of the launch field.

Fiesta Sky Box

All inclusive VIP area with specially designed shipping containers that offer a private patio and upper deck views of the launch field.

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® is the world’s largest celebration of man’s first flight technology – the hot air balloon. During this nine- day fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico, balloon enthusiasts from around the world come together to enjoy an art form that has delighted spectators and participants for two centuries. Whether on the ground or in the sky, the allure of the hot air balloon is undeniable. The whimsy and showmanship that surround this colorful event inspires spectators of all ages, inflating the imaginations of children and inner children alike.

During October in New Mexico, the soft autumnal light, changing leaves, and crisp blue sky make a breathtaking backdrop for hundreds of vibrant balloons that ascend daily from Balloon Fiesta Park. Whether you are watching The Dawn Patrol lift off as the sun breaks over the Sandia Mountains, or the evening Glowdeo begins against a neon sunset, there is a special charm at Balloon Fiesta that draws you in and leaves you forever changed by its magic.

Our Geography Makes it Ballooning Central

Autumn is one of the most enjoyable times of the year in New Mexico. This peaceful prelude to winter means that brisk mornings give way to warm afternoons with mild temperatures throughout the day and typically still winds. This ideal weather, combined with its diverse altitudes and geography, makes Albuquerque the best possible location for ballooning at this time of year. The lower altitude of the river valley to the west and surrounding mountain ranges create the legendary “Albuquerque Box,” in which gentle winds blow in a box pattern, sometimes leading balloons right back to where they started. This natural phenomenon makes Albuquerque home to some of the best ballooning in the world.