World’s Largest Hot Air Balloon Festival Takes Flight October 3-11, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Oct. 2 /PRNewswire/ — The 2009 Albuquerque International Balloon FiestaÃ‚® “Mass Happiness,” launching October 3-11, is bringing hot air balloonists and tourists from around the globe to Albuquerque, New Mexico (http://www.itsatrip.org). The 38th annual Balloon Fiesta (http://www.balloonfiesta.com) will feature 550 registered hot air and gas balloons and 650 balloon pilots representing 17 countries and 37 states. Every October, during these nine days, more than 800,000 spectators visit the world-renowned event.
During the festival, the sky is filled with color as hundreds of balloons float over Albuquerque (http://www.itsatrip.org/balloonfiesta) — no wonder it’s one of the most photographed events in the world. For balloon pilots worldwide, the Albuquerque International Balloon FiestaÃ‚® is a pilgrimage. Hundreds of balloons launch from 72 grass-covered acres each morning. Visitors and locals enjoy the spectacle of Mass Ascensions, Balloon Glows, AfterGlow fireworks, and hot air and gas balloon competitions.
From fire engines to bumble bees and skunks to flying cows, the special shape balloons are sure to delight onlookers of all ages, especially during the Special Shape Rodeos. Balloon Fiesta attendees can also check out professional chainsaw carvers creating beautiful art out of wood, and hundreds of booths offering arts and crafts from across the country and an array of fantastic festival food and local cuisine including a variety of New Mexican breakfast burritos.
Pilots from around the world thrive in Albuquerque’s unique fall weather and take advantage of the “Albuquerque Box,” a combination of upper and lower level winds created by the Rio Grande Valley and enhanced by the Sandia Mountains. The box enables balloonists to sometimes backtrack their flight path and land close to their launch site, which is unlikely in most other places due to the lack of ability to steer a balloon.
Albuquerque is buzzing with activity throughout the week of Balloon Fiesta with arts and crafts shows, special exhibits, a Santero market in Old Town, the Lighter Than Air Fair at the Balloon Museum and much more. There’s still time to book a quick trip and last-minute deals galore. Check out www.itsatrip.org/balloonfiesta for event details and special offers.
SOURCE Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau