Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
Updated: Jun 5
Today, we arrived at the Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. After we set up the trailer, we went to shop at the Fiesta vendors. There were not many open though because it was mid-afternoon. The balloons don’t take off mid-afternoon so a lot of vendors were closed. They are all open very early in the morning and after about 5pm.
After that, we went to go see some people that we met at Great Sand Dunes National Park. When we got to there site it turned out they didn’t know we were coming so soon so we missed them.
When we got back to the Balloon Fiesta, we went to the 7-11 Balloon Discovery Center. At the Discovery Center you can learn about hot air and gas balloons. Hot Air balloons run off of hot air fueled by propane burners. Gas balloons run of off helium or hydrogen. Typically the gas balloons are ran off of hydrogen because it is less expensive than helium. Helium can cost upwards of $10,000 per fill up.
At the Balloon Fiesta you can collect balloon trading cards which have the balloon name, pilot, and picture of the balloon on the card. At the Discovery Center, I earned 3 balloon trading cards by doing all of the learning activities.
That night we met the people staying next to us at the Balloon Fiesta, and it turned out they are hot air balloon pilots and have a balloon at the Fiesta. They gave me their balloon card too. Their balloon is named Higher Desire.
Later that night, we were going to go to the Balloon Glow at 6pm. It was cancelled though, because the winds were too strong. Winds are too strong when its hits 12mph or more. A balloon glow is where a bunch of balloons blow up, but don’t take off. This is done at night so you can see the balloons all lit up. They are super pretty when they are all lit up. A Balloon glow is a great time to collect balloon trading cards. At 7:30pm, we went to watch the fireworks. Let’s just say Trouble didn’t like the fireworks, but I thought they were awesome!
This morning we woke up at 5:30am so we could go and see the balloons take off. The first wave is called Dawn Patrol where about 6-12 balloons take off at 6 o’clock when it’s still dark out. They do this to tell the other balloon pilots that it’s safe to take off and to give them an idea of wind direction and speed. There were all sorts of balloons. We couldn’t find the people with the Higher Desire balloon, it was super busy this morning. (Over a 9 day period 886,307 people attended this event, and 550 balloons were here.) Afterwords, we went and got breakfast and coffee. Mom and I shared a breakfast burrito, I had a hot chocolate too, and dad got his own burrito.
After breakfast, we walked around and I found a balloon trading card on the ground. Our feet got cold and we decided to walk home. It was 32° F (0° C) that morning. That night, we went to the Special Shape Balloon Glow and I collected a lot of balloon trading cards. A special shape glow is a special event for balloons that have fun shapes like a bee, flying pig, and an astronaut. The balloon glow was pretty cool! My favorite was the astronaut.
This morning my mom woke us up to go see the balloons take off again at 5:30am. Once again, we got burritos and walked around until we got cold.
That afternoon mom and I went to Target and my dad went to Lowes. I looked at toys until my mom told me that I was going to get my flu shot. I told her that I wasn't going to get any toys, so we went and got our flu shots. When my dad showed up, he skipped the Flu shot and went to look at games and bought one called Chickapig. Mom and I both looked at Dad like he was crazy when he said he was going to buy this game, but it turns out the whole family loves it.
Afterwards, we went to a farmers market and I bought a Harry Potter bag.
Later that night, we went to a normal Balloon Glow and I collected a lot of balloon trading cards.
Day 4: The Last Day of the official Balloon Fiesta:
Today my mom got up early to watch the balloons from the trailer area while my dad and I slept in. My Dad went out shortly after my Mom and watched the balloons from the roof of the trailer. I woke up and looked out my window and I saw a ton of balloons in the air. Once I realized my parents were on the trailer, I rushed out to join them to see the end of the Mass Ascension.
When we had all gotten out of bed and were dressed and ready to go, we took off on our long 4 hour drive.
Overall, the Balloon Fiesta was pretty amazing and I got over 50 balloon trading cards. I would totally recommend the Balloon Fiesta to all of you.