It’s the most wonderful time of the year- in Albuquerque!


I love autumn anywhere, but here in Albuquerque it is especially magical! Hundreds of thousands of people agree, as they come from around the world to attend the largest hot air balloon event in the world, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

For many people, this event is on their bucket list.  And nothing makes me happier than taking someone to the fiesta for the first time and experiencing their pure joy as hundreds of balloons float into the sky just as the sun rises over the Sandia Mountains. The enthusiasm on the field is contagious, you’ll never see a sad face during a mass ascension!

Balloon Fiesta is kind of the unofficial beginning of fall in Albuquerque. The weather is finally cooler, especially in the early mornings on the launch field. It’s time to layer on our cozy sweaters and scarves and celebrate the season with friends. Speaking of celebrating, a favorite ballooning tradition is the ceremony the pilot performs after the flight for his passengers. The Balloonist’s Prayer is recited, followed by a champagne toast!

The winds have welcomed you with softness.
The sun has blessed you with its warm hands.
You have flown so high and so well
that God has joined you in your laughter
and set you gently back again
into the loving arms of Mother Earth.

For those of us blessed to live here, we experience this joy for nine days, as balloons float over the city and land in our parks and parking lots. In fact, as I sit in my design studio, hundreds of balloons float by and I can literally wave to the pilots!  I think this could be the friendliest event in the world as well. Ahhhh…..any stress I was feeling just lifted off my shoulders.

May your spirits soar!



2 thoughts on “It’s the most wonderful time of the year- in Albuquerque!

  1. Jackie says:

    Seeing your picture of the balloons in the air, is awesome BUT it does not compare to being at the Balloon Fiesta in person. A girlfriend and I flew from Massachusetts to Tucson AZ to meet up with another girlfriend. The three of us began out “girls road trip” to Albuquerque. We arrived at the grounds early in the dark on a damp morning, we soon parked ourselves on at picnic table and found talking to people from all over the country. Before long you could see lights from the vehicles arriving with balloon trailers behind. The sun began to rise and then word came that the lift off was a “go”. The sky was so full of colors and shapes it was like nothing I have ever experienced before. We wanted to take pictures but which one to choose and where to look was has hard to decide. To be lucky enough to experience this once in a lifetime was so special but to be able to experience that every year is so special. Every October I think back on that trip with such joy. Thanks for bringing back those memories.
    Jackie (Linda and Paula)

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