500 Hot Air Balloons // Albuquerque, NM Balloon Fiesta | Rediscovering Your City

2018-09-15T17:39:37+00:00 September 15th, 2018|

Video Transcription

Talk about checking one off the bucket list last fall I had the chance to attend the famous Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque New Mexico it is one of the largest balloon festivals in the world with over 500 balloons taking flight it was epic this was the 46th anniversary of the balloon fiesta which started with 13 hot-air balloons in 1972 the balloon fiesta grounds filled the size of 56 football fields it takes 3,000 volunteers to produce the nine-day event over 800,000 people attend the balloon festival each year the main event is the mass ascension hundreds of colorful balloons launch a few at a…

… time I guarantee it will take your breath away a few tips make sure you get there early parking closes at 10:30 a.m. and you won’t be able to enter the park after that the balloons take off shortly after sunrise so there won’t be much to see if you dawdle I’d get there no later than 7:00 a.m. or you might miss the mass ascension hot-air balloons have always been so mystical to me and the balloon fiesta was the perfect place to take my first ride balloon launches are dependent on the weather and because of winds we almost didn’t make it up in the air our pilot came to Albuquerque all the way from Belgium he had a special shape a lumic like a baby it was a present for his daughter when she was born I was surprised by how calm the ride was you’re literally floating on air it’s like you’re staying still and everything else is moving around you other than the intermittent roar of the balloons flame it’s completely peaceful part of joining the balloon crew is folding up the balloon after the flight and putting it back in its sack there’s nothing like a cold beer to celebrate a successful flight did you know that the first hot air balloon flight in the United States was done by a 13 year old boy he blew a paper hot-air balloon now balloons are made of room stop nylon that keeps them lightweight but strong the lower portion of the balloon contains the same fire resistant material that firemen and race car drivers wear you might be wondering why the balloon launch is so early in the morning I know I was the atmosphere is the most stable during the hours just following sunrise making it the best for finding gentle winds the hot air balloon gets a better lift from the bursts of hot air when it’s cool you might want to roll over and hit the snooze button when your alarm goes off at 5 a.m. but I promise it’s worth it there’s no way to steer a hot air balloon that’s why the pilots are so cautious about the weather they are literally at the mercy of the wind do you see all of the special shape balloons there was everything from Darth Vader to a flying pig the balloon glow happens at night just before dusk balloons are inflated and tethered they then ignite on the cue of the announcer filling the sky with brilliant colors the typical hot air balloon stands about 70 feet tall with so many balloons inflating at the same time I felt so small the beauty is almost too much to process the average hot-air-balloon class is 20 to $40,000 the special shape ones can cost up to 250,000 most of the balloon pilots at the Fiesta also run balloon tours and companies that help to cover costs it’s also common to see branded hot-air balloons that are sponsored by large companies I hope you get a chance to talk to the balloon pilots I found all of them very friendly and approachable their passion for ballooning is truly inspiring my best advice for you is to arrive early dress warm and keep your fingers crossed that the winds are in your favor I would also go for multiple days and you absolutely cannot miss the mass ascension don’t forget to bring an extra battery for your camera actually make that two extra batteries I know no video can compare to the actual experience of being surrounded by hundreds of hot-air balloons so I hope I inspired you to add the Fiesta to your bucket list too I hope you enjoyed this look at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta as always don’t forget to Like and subscribe your support means so much