Save The Date
Join us October 1-9, 2022, for the 50th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta powered by ExxonMobil in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Start your planning for the festivities which all start on Saturday, October 1, and include the magical Mass Ascension! The 50th event schedule is now available on Plan ahead – Future Balloon Fiesta dates are October 7-15, 2023 and October 5-13, 2024.

Balloon Fiesta Insider

Out with the old and in with the new! Just in time for the 50th event, Balloon Fiesta Transports have arrived! These new pulled-behind vehicle trailers will replace the trolleys that, since 2016, have shuttled guests between the parking lots and the launch field. Be sure to keep an eye out for and take advantage of these sleek-looking, blue transports sponsored by Creamland Dairies, during your time at Balloon Fiesta.

Cindy Petrehn Memorial Photo Contest is Back

The search for the best Balloon Fiesta photo will begin in about 30 days! And we’re on the hunt for photos of the 50thevent in six different categories: Kids at Balloon Fiesta, Dawn Patrol/Balloon Glow, Mass Ascension, Special Shape Rodeo, AfterGlowFireworks and Digital Art. This search comes as part of Balloon Fiesta’s Cindy Petrehn Memorial Photo Contest, an opportunity for guests to showcase their photography skills and for Balloon Fiesta to see the event through the eyes of our guests. The Grand prize winner will receive $1,000 and the chance to be featured in the 2024 Balloon Fiesta calendar. Other prizes, include:

  • $500 for first-place category winners 
  • A prize valued at $200 for second-place category winners 
  • A prize valued at $100 for third-place category winners 

To learn more about entry rules and begin prepping for your submission, click here.

Merchandise Update

New to Balloon Fiesta’s Gift Shop are 50th event jackets! Prepare for the chilly Balloon Fiesta weather and shop soft shell, varsity and fleece style jackets, all with unique and fun embroidery designs! In fact, the soft shell jacket features a shout-out to the original 13 balloons that flew in 1972. Others feature fun accent colors and the commemorative 50th event logo. These jackets are limited. So, stop in at 4401 Alameda Boulevard, NE, Albuquerque, NM or visit to get yours today!

Balloon Mail takes flight at Balloon Fiesta

Long before the Wright brothers invented the airplane and the U.S. Post Office came up with the idea of Air Mail, people were sending mail by balloon. In 1859, a professional balloonist John Wise attempted a “transcontinental voyage” from Indiana to New York. He was carrying a bag of mail with 123 letters on board. The flight lasted just 5 hours and ended about 30 miles away. Not quite transcontinental. In 1870, there are numerous documented balloon flights that carried mail out of Paris when it was under siege.

Aviation has long embraced this method of documentation. Having an “official” agency put a dated stamp on a document provides some level of authenticity to at least the timing of the document. 

A number of years ago, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta added Balloon Mail to the event. People bought a postcard at Balloon Fiesta, wrote a note, addressed it, and deposited it in a special mailbox on the field. The mail was then distributed to different balloon pilots who flew the mail in their balloon that day, signed the envelope and gave it to the post office for delivery. As we celebrate 50 years of Balloon Fiesta, we thought it would be fun to bring this activity back. And so we did!

Here’s how it works.

First you purchase our Balloon Mail stationery kit, either online or on the field during Balloon Fiesta. It contains, an envelope, paper, instructions and a Balloon Mail pin. Then write your letter, address the envelope and return it to us. For online purchases, we’ll include a postage paid envelope to return your envelopes to us. The kit will be available for purchase online until Sept 15 and envelopes must be returned to us by Sept 30 in order to be flown during Balloon Fiesta. 

For those kits purchased on the field during Balloon Fiesta, you’ll return the addressed envelopes to the purchase location. 

When you return the addressed envelopes to us, we’ll add postage, have a hot air balloon pilot fly and document the flight on the envelope and then deliver it to the post office for a special cancelation and delivery to the addressee. 

It’s a great way to commemorate and document the 50th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Inside the Basket

Tarp Head is a long-time balloon expert who has participated as a pilot, in Balloon Fiesta for the past 47 years.

In this month’s Inside the Basket, Tarp shares more about how he found love for the sport of ballooning, what it’s been like to participate in Balloon Fiesta for 47 years and what he’s looking forward to most at the 50th event.

August in Ballooning

On August 26, 1985, pilot Henk Brink set the altitude world record for AM-13, AM-14, AM-15 and AM-11 type balloons. During his flight, he reached a height of 4,442 meters. This record is no longer standing. 

August Photo-of-the-Month

We have received some beautiful pictures of past years' events, submitted through Balloon Fiesta's social media! Below is the photo chosen for August. Thank you to Instagram user @domdommm__.

Do you have a Balloon Fiesta photo that you’re proud of? Share your favorite Balloon Fiesta image on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag our page for a chance to be featured in next month’s newsletter!

Read all about it

Check out the latest media coverage about Balloon Fiesta

Sponsor Spotlight

The New Mexico Tourism Department works to promote New Mexico as an “adventure that feeds the soul” and provide unified messaging for more than 50 communities and 450 businesses around the state. Their team has partnered with Balloon Fiesta since 2012,  is a sponsor of the 2022 Flight of the Nations Mass Ascension and has a booth on Main Street. Their team’s sponsorship allows them to participate in a key element of the travel and tourism space in both Albuquerque and New Mexico, as well as be a resource for curious travelers at Balloon Fiesta. They look forward to being a part of a beautiful Mass Ascension at the 50th event, with their New Mexico True balloon rising into the dawn, with the cheering crowds below. We thank them for their continued support!

For a complete list of Balloon Fiesta sponsors, click here.
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 Official e-newsletter of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, powered by ExxonMobil.