The great thing about RV travel is that it can take you just about anywhere you’d like to go, and allow you to see many great sights all over the world! One amazing event that should be on any adventure lover’s bucket list is the amazing Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta! Started in 1972, this nine day festival takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico during the first couple weeks of October. With balloonists from all over the world, this is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world, and features over 500 balloons every year! This draws in fans from all over the U.S., as well as other countries, with daily exhibitions and events at different times of the day! Presented by Canon, this is an amazing event for spectators and artists alike, as photographers and painters have amazing opportunities to capture the beautiful balloons in full glory! Photographers can even enter in the yearly photography contest, which have yielded some amazing shots in the past years!
There are many daily and special events that highlight the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, for plenty of opportunities for unique, breathtaking sights! Here are some of the great annual traditions you can expect from this great festival!
Perhaps one of the most anticipated and amazing sights of this festival are the mass ascensions, where all 500+ balloons that participate in the fiesta launch, filling the sky for an unforgettable sight!
Balloonists gather their balloons in the launch field and illuminate their balloons while remaining on the ground. The glow from the propane creates a wonderful scenic view at night for all! It is a great chance to get up close views of all of the different amazing balloons!
This daily event has a group of selected pilots ascend before the sun rises and fly until there is enough light to see landing sites! This helps balloonists get an idea of the weather, wind direction and speed!
Special Shape Rodeo
This awesome event showcases all the unique balloons that aren’t what you’d usually picture when thinking about traditional hot air balloons! Anything from animals, food, even your favorite pop culture characters, can be found flying during the fun event!
You can expect to see talented balloonists demonstrate their special abilities in various exhibitions and competitions! A gas balloon race, ring toss game, and other speed and skill competitions are something you can’t miss! There is also the Flight of the Nations Mass Ascension, where you’ll be able to see balloonists from different countries launch off to their national anthem while waving their national flag!
There are plenty of musical performances that occur throughout the days of the festival! Many talented performers participate each year, for added entertainment to an already great festival!
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a must-see destination for any avid RVer, as there are many opportunities for RVing at the festival! There are seven different options for camping, ranging from $18 per night for tent camping to $175 per night in the President’s Compound! Each feature wonderful views of the balloon launch and landing sites for a memorable stay! There is a range from everything from dry camping to full hookups! All sites are rally parking, meaning that it is first come, first served. Placement requests can be made, but there is no guarantee that they can be fulfilled. Reservations can be made here
American RV Park
If you’d prefer a campground with guaranteed hookups and clean, well-maintained facilities, American RV park could be a good alternative! Located about 20 miles away from the Balloon Fiesta site, it is a reasonable drive. Special rates are available, but reservations for Balloon Fiesta are only accepted by phone!
Albuquerque North/Bernalillo KOA
Located just over nine miles away from the Balloon Fiesta, this nice campground has great reviews and boasts clean restrooms, full hookups, and a friendly staff for a great alternative to staying at the event’s park! You can reserve a site at their website here
! The Albuquerque balloon festival is a great experience that any adventure lover should see in their lifetime! The unforgettable sights of unique hot air balloons from around the world will stick with you for the rest of your life! Be sure to make it a stop on your travel bucket list!