The Albuquerque Balloon Festival or Fiesta is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world, bringing in over 500 hot air balloons to fill the skies of Albuquerque. It has been on our barrel index for years, and it was a dream to finally witness it for ourselves last year.

If you find hot air balloons to be as dreamy as we do, we most recommend this event as well as hot air ballooning in Cappadocia Turkey.

Albuquerque Balloon Festival - What You Need to Know Before You Go

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Last Updated: September 5, 2020

Albuquerque Balloon Festival 2020 – What You Need to Know Before You Go

If you plan on attending the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, we’re going to cover what you need to know, its own experience, and give you plenty of tips-off to help you plan your trip.

Content Menu

General Information About the Albuquerque International Balloon FiestaAlbuquerque Balloon Fiesta Schedule of Events+ The Main Events You Can’t MissGetting To and Around the Albuquerque Balloon FiestaBest Places to Stay during the course of its Albuquerque International Balloon FiestaHow to Ride in a Hot Air Balloon During the Balloon FiestaBest Places to Watch the Hot Air BalloonsEssential Tips for Planning Your TripFrequently Asked QuestionsWhat to PackMore Things to Do in AlbuquerqueMore Reserve

General Information About the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

The Albuquerque Balloon Festival happens every year in October. The fete flows for 9 epoches with all types of events happening throughout the week.

The 2021 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta dates have been set for October 2, 2021, to October 10, 2021. Not merely will there be feeling since the 2020 gala was canceled, but they will too be celebrating the 50 th anniversary of the fiesta.

Note: The 2020 Balloon Fiesta scheduled for October 3-11, 2020 has officially been shelved. If you purchased tickets for 2020, you can change your reservation to 2021 or solicit a full refund.

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2021 Countdown

Days Hours Minutes

Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Festival


Tickets for the Albuquerque Balloon Festival is $10 per person per session( or you can purchase a five-pack for $45 ). Most daytimes have a morning and night hearing. If you leave the park in between, you will have to purchase another ticket. Some things include tickets like the Park& Ride and particular RV recognises. Buy your tickets online now.

If you’re looking for a more exclusive know-how, there are a few upgraded alternatives 😛 TAGENDChasers’ Club ($ 60 per session ): Access to a special viewing area with guaranteed setting, buffet, private bathrooms, and a cash bar.Gondola Club ($ 125 per session ): Everything the Chasers’ Club comes plus a parking pass, open prohibit, shuttle assistance, keepsake knack, and more.Concierge Program ($ 350 per session for 1-2 people ): General admission ticket, payment parking pass, and a private golf cart and driver during your session. You also get a Balloon Fiesta gift.

The Music Fiesta is additional as well array from $10 for general admission tickets to $499 for the ultimate experience.

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Schedule of Events+ The Main Events You Can’t Miss

Main Events You Can’t Miss

Over 9 dates of the fair, there are multiple happens that highlight different types of balloons, punishes, and more. It can be a bit daunting to figure out what is worth going to. Before getting to the full schedule, let’s talk about the main events to assist you decide what you want to see.

Dawn Patrol( daily)- Each morning, a few cases bags take off before the sun rises to check the weather conditions to ensure it’s safe for the rest of the bags to fly. This is the least affecting to watch, and because it’s dark, photography is challenging.Balloon Radiates( many)- Bags will burn their propane in sync with one another before when it’s still dark while still tethered to the ground. They have a Morning Glow, Twilight Twinkle Glow, and Night Magic Glow.Mass Ascension( weekends)- Hundreds of balloons will launch in two ripples, replenishing the skies with hot air balloons.Competitions( various)- Throughout the week, pilots fly their balloons and compete in numerous challenges testing their skills. One of the more popular is America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race. This annual long-distance race starts at the Balloon Fiesta Parks and tests to see how far they can go without coming down. Often day they are in the sky for multiple days.Special Shape Rodeo( numerous)- One of the coolest things to see is all the crazy balloon chassis that they have. During these events, they places great importance on only these unique bags, whether it’s flying or radiates.

Pro Tip: If you’re into photography, check out the Canon booth. You can take souvenir photos and get free scavenges on your Canon gear. They even rent out cameras to try them out during the balloon festival.

More: 15 Best Festivals in the US to Add to Your Bucket List

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Schedule of Events

Here is the 2021 Albuquerque Balloon Festival Schedule of Events. It’s always best to check their site for the most up-to-date information.

Saturday, October 2nd

6: 00 AM- Dawn Patrol6: 30 AM- Morning Glow6: 45 AM- Opening Ceremonies7: 00 AM- Mass Ascension8: 00 AM- Chainsaw Carving Exhibition1 1:00 AM- Chainsaw Carving Auction2: 00 PM- America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Inflation3: 00 PM- Chainsaw Carving Exhibition5: 00 PM- Skydiving Exhibition6: 00 PM- America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Launch6: 00 PM- Twilight Twinkle Glow7: 30 PM- Skydiving Exhibition8: 00 PM- AfterGlow Fireworks Show

Sunday, October 3rd

6: 00 AM- Dawn Patrol6: 30 AM- Morning Glow7: 00 AM- Mass Ascension8: 00 AM- Chainsaw Carving Exhibition9: 00 AM- Fiesta of Wheels Car Show1 1:00 AM- Balloon Fiesta Pin Trading 11:00 AM- Chainsaw Carving Auction3: 00 PM- Chainsaw Carving Exhibition5: 00 PM- Skydiving Exhibition6: 00 PM- Balloon Glow7: 30 PM- Skydiving Exhibition8: 00 PM- AfterGlow Fireworks Show

Monday, October 4th

6: 00 AM- Dawn Patrol7: 00 AM- Double Ascension8: 00 AM- Competition Balloon Flying Begins8: 00 AM- Chainsaw Carving Exhibition

Tuesday, October 5th

6: 00 AM- Dawn Patrol7: 00 AM- Double Ascension8: 00 AM- Competition Balloon Flying Begins8: 00 AM- Chainsaw Carving Exhibition

Wednesday, October 6th

6: 00 AM- Dawn Patrol6: 30 AM- Morning Glow7: 00 AM- Flight of the Nations Mass Ascension8: 00 AM- Competition Flying Begins8: 00 AM- Chainsaw Carving Exhibition

Thursday, October 7th

6: 00 AM- Dawn Patrol7: 00 AM- Special Shape Rodeo8: 00 AM- Competition Balloon Flying8: 00 AM- Chainsaw Carving Exhibition1 1:00 AM- Chainsaw Carving Auction3: 00 PM- Chainsaw Carving Exhibition5: 00 PM- Skydiving Exhibition6: 00 PM- Special Mold Glowdeo7: 30 PM- Skydiving Exhibition8: 00 PM- AfterGlow Fireworks Show

Friday, October 8th

6: 00 AM- Dawn Patrol7: 00 AM- Special Shape Rodeo8: 00 AM- Competition Balloon Flying8: 00 AM- Chainsaw Carving Exhibition1 1:00 AM- Chainsaw Carving Auction3: 00 PM- Chainsaw Carving Exhibition5: 00 PM- Skydiving Exhibition6: 00 PM- Special Appearance Glowdeo7: 30 PM- Skydiving Exhibition8: 00 PM- AfterGlow Fireworks Show

Saturday, October 9th

6: 00 AM- Dawn Patrol6: 30 AM- Morning Glow7: 00 AM- Mass Ascension8: 00 AM- Chainsaw Carving Exhibition1 1:00 AM- Balloon Fiesta Pin Trading1 1:00 AM- Chainsaw Carving Auction1: 00 PM- Music Fiesta3: 00 PM- Chainsaw Carving Exhibition5: 00 PM- Skydiving Exhibition6: 00 PM- Night Magic Glow7: 30 PM- Skydiving Exhibition8: 00 PM- AfterGlow Fireworks Show

Sunday, October 10 th

6: 00 AM- Dawn Patrol6: 30 AM- Morning Glow7: 00 AM- Farewell Mass Ascension8: 00 AM- Chainsaw Carving Exhibition

Note: Eras are broken up into two balloon sessions. The morning time rolls from 5:30 AM to 10 AM, and the night seminars proceeds from 5 PM to 9 PM.

Hot Air Balloon Ride Albuquerque

Canon Fireworks Albuquerque Balloon Festival

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Events 2020

Getting To and Around the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Festival

The Balloon Fiesta Park in Albuquerque is home to the festival each year. Located on the north side of municipality, the official address is: 4401 Alameda Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113( map ). Come episode daylights, you may head to a different sphere since they have parking spread out but we’ll go over those items a little further down.

Getting to Albuquerque: The Albuquerque International Sunport( ABQ) airfield is right in town. Once you arrive, we recommend renting a vehicle.

Getting to the Balloon Fiesta

Once you’re in Albuquerque, there are a few different options to are going to the Albuquerque Balloon Festival. Having your own car is the most convenient.

Parking at the Balloon Fiesta- There are large, marked parking lots around Balloon Fiesta Park. When you drive towards the park, there will be indicates and stewards pointing you the closest accessible lot. The parking is $20 per sessions( money only) and they fill swiftly so arrive early. You can also purchase an all-sessions parking pass from the Balloon Fiesta Gift Shop.Park& Ride Shuttle Bus- Another option is the Park& Ride system which has different stops in the city. The advantage is that these bus will bypass heavy traffic. The tickets include round-trip transportation and admission to the Balloon Fiesta. Tickets need to be purchased in advance here and are $22 for adults and $ 10 “for childrens”. They do sell out. The four common& travel sites are: Cottonwood Mall: 10000 Coors Bypass NWIntel: 1600 Rio Rancho Blvd SECoronado Center: 6600 Menaul Blvd NEHoffmantown Church: 8888 Harper Road NERide Share( Taxi, Uber, or Lyft ): If you prefer not to rent a automobile, you can Uber or Lyft, but you’ll be stuck in the same traffic. Plus, there will be surge pricing. They’ve tried to negotiate utilize the shuttle trails so check back to see if they’ve made any changes.Biking or Walking: If you’re staying close enough to Balloon Fiesta Park, going is a great way to avoid traffic. You can also bike and they have a complimentary bike valet.

Note: If you require special incapacitated parking or succour, contact the Balloon Fiesta staff in advance and they will be able to help you out.

Best Places to Stay During the Albuquerque Balloon Fest

There are multiple options for housings during the Balloon Fest. Since we had our own vehicle and a parking pass, we purposed up booking a hotel nearby so that the morning commute to beat traffic wouldn’t be long. If you plan on doing the Park& Ride, you can look for hotels near those locations.

Since parties come from all over the world, be sure to book your housings early as they do sell my shares rapidly. There are also options for RVs and Glamping right next the carnival grounds.

Hotel Option

Hotels Near Balloon Fiesta Park: Holiday Inn Express (. 75 mi apart )La Quinta Inn& Suites( 2 mi apart )Residence Inn( 3 mi away )Fairfield Inn& Suites( 3.5 mi apart )Tru By Hilton( 3.5 mi away )

Search for Hotels Near Park& Ride Locations: Search for Hotels Near Cottonwood MallAvailable Hotels Near IntelSearch Hotels near Coronado CenterBest Hotels near Hoffmantown Church

Search for Airbnbs near Balloon Fiesta Park

RVing, Camping, and Glamping

RVers slew to the Albuquerque Balloon Festival every year. There is an area near the launch field only dedicated to RVs. The premiums array from $40 a night to $250 a light at the most coveted smudges at President’s Compound. Blot open up a week after the previous Balloon Fiesta and spaces sell my shares really fast.

Standard: $40/ darknes bake tenting in South RV LotBox View: $50/ nighttime baked tenting in the South RV LotPremium: $95/ nighttime 30 amp and liquid alliance in South RV LotVIP West/ East: $100/ light bake tenting adjacent to the Launch Field( includes 2 GA tickets) VIP North: $100/ nighttime dry camping adjacent to the Launch Field( includes 2 GA tickets) President’s Compound: $250/ nighttime on a bank overlooking the Launch Field with ocean and electric hook-ups( includes 4 GA tickets)

Glamping sites are relatively new to the Balloon Fiesta. The tents are set up all together within walking length to the Launch Field. Each place includes a safari tent, berths( 1 queen or 2 singles ), linens, heater, fridge, electric blanket, lamps, and fee parking. There was still trailers set up with restrooms and showers. It costs $1500 for 3 nighttimes for 1-2 people.

Hot Air Balloon Rides Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Watching the bags from the ground is amazing on its own, but riding a hot air balloon during the festival makes it to the next elevation. Fortunately you can fix that happen by reserve a go with the Rainbow Ryders. This is the only company allowed to take patrons during mass ascension.

As with everything during the course of its Albuquerque Balloon Festival, premiums are at a premium. Rides generally run for at least $ 430( ordinarily $150) and they book up immediately. For reservations, contact them here 😛 TAGEND

Rainbow Ryders1- 800 -7 25 -2 477 flightinfo @rainbowryders. com

Another way to get a ride, is to volunteer with a pilot. You can sign up online or if you encounter aviators, ask if they need help on their crew. Jacob participated the Chase Crew of the balloon that I travel and facilitated pack up the balloon formerly we property. Typically pilots will give voluntaries a razz something during the week.

Pro Tip Note: Don’t notebook your flight on the last day in case there are deletions due to weather.

Albuquerque Balloon Rides at the Albuquerque Balloon Festival

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque New Mexico Balloon Festival 2020

Best Places to Watch the Hot Air Balloons

Nothing compares to seeing the bags taken away from from Balloon Fiesta Park, but since the wind controls their fate, “youre seeing” the balloons to areas outside the ballpark as well. Unfortunately, there isn’t a good way to predict which road they’ll go each day.

While Jacob was with the Chase Crew, they used a mix of GPS, walkie talkies, and just trying to see the balloon in the sky to stay in touch with where the pilot was headed.

With that in sentiment, here are some popular blots to watch the balloons if they’re flying in that direction.

North Domingo Baca Park( 7521 Carmel Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113, map) Vista Del Norte Park( 1005 Osuna Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113, map) Wildflower Park( San Mateo Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87108, map) Sandia Peak Tramway( 30 Tramway Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87122, map) although far awayLos Ranchos/ Journal Center Railrunner Station( 101 El Pueblo Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113, map)

Pro Tip: Since it’s hard to predict, really pick a location to start and have a backup location on the opposite side in case the bags hover away from you.

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Mass Ascension

Essential Tips for the Albuquerque New Mexico Balloon Festival

Tips for Planning Your Trip

Book Early! The Albuquerque Balloon Festival is an extremely popular episode and parties proceed from all over the world to see it. Book everything ASAP.Arrive early to the events to avoid the crowds and traffic. It will ever make you longer than you think to get to the launch field.Plan your trip-up around what you’re interested in. The mass ascension is a must see, but it’s always good to catch different events throughout the week.It’s cold in Albuquerque this time of year. Pack mantles since it’ll be 20 -4 0degF in the mornings and 50 -7 0degF during the day. A hat, gloves, and rechargeable hand warmer was essential since we’re standing around a lot.Carry a backpack or daypack so “youve had” somewhere to make seams you don’t need and other items you jam-pack. Be sure to check out our entire packing roll below.Food in the park is abundant. There are all kinds of food dealers with alternatives same to those at any outdoor fairs. Think burgers, pizza, nachos, donuts, and burritos. Some distinguishes are also open for breakfast more so you can grab coffee.

Tips for After You Arrive

Photography is super popular at the carnival. Walk around to find the best places. To get a higher vantage point, manager to the north side of the launch field.Respect the Bags, Pilots, and Zebras. One of the one thing about this event is that you can walk right onto the field where they are launching. Just be respectful and don’t touch any of the bags unless given permission. Pilots desired telling their story, but if they are busy trying to launch, don’t glitch them. Zebras, the person or persons with the ref jerseys on, are there to ensure everything get smoothly so listen to them if they are instructing you to do something.Be sure to check out the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque Balloon Museum, which has multiple exhibits, balconies ignoring the launch field, and gift store. During the commemoration, they have special events too.The Balloon Discovery Center Tent is also great for families. Now you’ll acquire exhibits and activities for children related to hot air balloons.Bathrooms are located easy to find. There are tons of port-o-potties located throughout the park.Pins are a popular collectible and each year there’s a entire change of brand-new ones. Captains too carry Balloon Trading Cards that piece their balloon. If you match one, you can ask if they have any on them.Here are some keywords you’ll hear on the field.Zebras are a nickname for launch conductors. They look like refs and is guaranteed launches exit smoothly.The Box is invoking the forecast phenomenon where low puffs fly in one direction and high winds fly in the opposite direction, permitting the balloons to fly in a box mold and tract where they took off.

ABQ Balloon Fiesta Pins

Frequently Asked Questions about the Balloon Festival


How countless periods should I attend the ABQ Balloon Festival? You is absolutely stand for the entire week, but at the minimum you should plan on at least 3 days. Since the events are weather-dependent, that gives people some leeway in case anything is cancelled or pushed back. Keep in psyche the mass ascensions happen on the weekends, but that’s also the most army time to be there.What are the best days to attned the Balloon Fiesta? There isn’t a straightforward answer to this. You should definitely try to see a mass ascension, but these are also the busiest dates( the first weekend being busier than the second largest ). We attended the second weekend because we wanted to see the Special Shapes Rodeo extremely. Weekdays will be the least multitude and it’s worth attending in the morning and night to see the difference.Are domesticateds tolerated at the Albuquerque Balloon Festival? No hounds or domesticateds are not allowed in the common unless you have a service animal. The dog in our photos belongs to the pilot and is cleared to be in the park.Is there a backpack length restriction? No, but keep in mind that they will be probed and the area is large. You’ll most likely spend a nice sum of experience walking and you don’t want something impractical to carry through large crowds.Can I voluntary? Yes, voluntaries are essential to the event. Volunteers have to available for the entire Balloon Fiesta and take at least three transformations. In exchange, they get free parking and enter along with some other benefits.

FAQs After You Arrive in Albuquerque

What experience should I arrived here the Balloon Fiesta? Arrive early! The common opens as early as 4:30 and you want to leave fairly room to find parking and get to the launch field. They recommend arriving by 4-4: 30 am and 4:00 pm on the weekends. We aired on the safe feature and favor waiting around in the park rather than stuck in parking panicking about missing something.How do I know if the Balloon Fiesta is cancelled due to forecast? Usually pilots catch out phenomena will be delayed or cancelled at 6:30 am during their meeting. Unfortunately if you want to catch them flying, you still need to plan on being there really early. Since weather conditions do need to be just right, it’s common that some contests get offset. Unless the brave is hazardous, the common generally still remains open and they deter a few balloons tethered to the ground. Keep your tickets since they will be good for the next session.Can I accompanying food and drinkings in to the park? Yes, but glass and booze are not allowed.Can I creating a cooler? Yes, but they will be searched.Is smoking accepted at Balloon Fiesta Park? Absolutely no smoking is allowed. There’s a lot of fuel around and ash can damage the balloons.Is the park disability accessible? Yes. There is handicap parking near the admittance gates. There is still mobility scooters, wheelchairs, strollers, and wagons available for rent on site.

International Hot Air Balloon Festival New Mexico

What to Pack

Warm Layers- It’s cold in the mornings( we’re talking 20 -4 0degF) and you’ll be standing around waiting for everything to happen. Gloves and a hat are really helpful too.Backpack or Daypack– To carry everything around.Rechargeable Hand Warmer– Ever since going this, it has come with us on every cold trip. We need to get a couple more so we don’t fight over it.Sunblock and Sun Protection- Albuquerque is at a higher altitude.Camera, Wide and Long Lens, and Extra Batteries– Keep in recollection that artilleries die quicker in the cold.Picnic blanket or Lightweight Camping Chair– Seating is limited and it’s nice to get off your feet every once in a while.Portable Charger– To impede all your designs charged all day. Battery die faster in the cold.Headlamp or Flashlight– Especially if you’re arriving really early or biding late. Some localities are dark.Cooler– If you have cups you want to keep cold and plan on staying articulated. It would be a pain to walk around with otherwise.

More Things to Do in Albuquerque

Take advantage of being in Albuquerque and explore the rest of town. Just keep in mind that there will be a lot of other guests doing the same thing.

ABQ BioPark Botanic GardenABQ BioPark ZooAlbuquerque Old TownAmerican International Rattlesnake MuseumExplora Science Center and Children’s Museum of AlbuquerqueGrave of Walkter WhiteIndian Pueblo Cultural CenterKimo TheatreNew Mexico Museum of National History& SciencePetroglyph National MonumentSan Felipe de Neri ChurchSandia Peak TramwayThe Albuquerque MuseumThe National Museum of Nuclear Science& HistoryThe Turquoise Museum

More Reserve

Santa Fe, Taos& Albuquerque Travel GuideAlbuquerque Street Map60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: AlbuquerqueNew Mexico Travel GuideLonely Planet Southwest USA

Have you been on a hot air balloon before? Which one would you want to journey?

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Albuquerque Balloon Festival - What You Need to Know Before You Go

















“Discovery dwells not of aiming brand-new estates but in beholding with brand-new eyes”- M. Proust

Esther+ Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which constitutes one of the top 5 jaunt blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a brand-new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

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