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Balloon Fiesta HOP - Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta - October 2018

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Balloon Fiesta HOP

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Option #1: October 5 – October 10, 2018

Option #2: October 10 – October 14, 2018

Option #3: October 5 - October 14, 2018


If this world premiere event is on your bucket list, then join SKP friends for the annual Balloon Fiesta HOP.

Each morning as dawn breaks over the Sandia Mountains, the skies will be filled with bright, beautiful and palatial hot-air balloons from all over the world.

From its beginnings in 1972, the Balloon Fiesta has grown into the largest International Balloon Fiesta with a 365-acre Balloon Fiesta Park, with the launch field being the size of 78 acres (54 football fields). It is the most photographed hot-air balloon festival in the world, with some events having an excess of 80,000 people in attendance.

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the only Balloon Fiesta where the “box effect” comes into play. The “box effect” is a special wind pattern that helps pilots navigate their balloons in a vertical, rectangular path, allowing them to return to the launch field, or even right next to your RV!

The Dawn Patrol lifts off first in the early morning hours, with specially fitted lights, to observe weather conditions at different altitudes, such as the wind speed and its direction. Upon approval, the balloons lift off in a mass ascension. The “Zebras,” dressed in black and white, coordinate the launching of the balloons.

One of the most exciting events is the Flight of the Nations Mass Ascension, where balloonists wave their own national flag during the launch.

Even though there are always traditionally-shaped balloons, there will be various specialty shapes, too.  Some of the most popular are the cow, sun, pig, stagecoach, clock, skunk, the Ladybug and the sweetest mother, daddy and baby bumblebees. The bumblebee’s hands have Velcro, so when they touch in midair, it appears they are holding hands. 

This Fiesta also hosts the Gas Balloons - The America's Challange, with the winner being the one that has traveled the farthest. Some of the gas balloons have gone as far as the East Coast and into Canada, and you can track their progress on the Fiesta website.

On the launch field, at dusk, you can see the burners of the balloons ignite and watch the evening sky fill with a bouquet of bright colors, as they lift their balloons. The nights will finish with an extraordinary display of fireworks.

For more information and pricing on this HOP view:



To register for this HOP, contact:

The HOP Department

888-757-2582 or 936-327-8873

Edited by spenser2
Asked by Lisa

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We were in Alb for a family wedding during the Fiesta this year and it is a sight worth seeing even without actually attending any of the events. Should be a great HOP!

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