Everything You Need To Know About The New Mexico Balloon Fiesta
It’s that time of year – the New Mexico Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM, is back! We expect
thousands of people from all over the world to attend this nine-day festival that features live
entertainment, food and drink vendors, and, of course, the world-famous balloons.
If you’re in the area, this is an event you must attend at least once. If you’re from out of town,
put this on your bucket list – yes, it’s that incredible! Here’s everything you need to know about
the 51st annual New Mexico Balloon Fiesta.
What it is
The New Mexico Balloon Fiesta began in and is now the biggest ballooning event in the world!
During the nine-day event, 500 balloons will take flight in the beautiful New Mexico sky in what
onlookers have described as a serene and inspiring scene.
On the ground, there will be performances by local musicians, dancers, Mariachi groups, and
Native American dancers. You can also purchase delicious local treats from one of the many
food vendors, and there will be close to 30 artisans selling everything from jewelry to t-shirts to
Get There Early
Park gates open at 4:30 a.m. for the morning events, and we recommend arriving by 5 a.m. Yes,
5:00 in the morning – some of the most popular events will have tens of thousands of people in
attendance, so you want to get there early to ensure you have a place to enjoy the fiesta
If you’re attending an evening event, getting there by 3 p.m. should allow you enough time to
check out the local vendors and grab a bite to eat. Parking is limited, so you may want to look
into some of the park-and-ride services available throughout the festival. For more information
on parking and how to get to the festival, go here.
What To Bring
Outside food and drink is allowed, but you cannot bring alcohol or anything in glass containers.
If you’re coming to the morning session, it will be chilly, so make sure to bring jackets and
blankets to keep warm. However, by the end of the day, it will probably be warm out – so dress
It’s a good idea to bring a folding chair so you can watch the balloons in comfort, they will be
inspected before you can enter the festival, so be prepared for that. Backpacks and bags will also
be inspected, it is a good idea to bring a clear bag, but it isn’t mandatory.
Check Out The Special Shape Rodeo
The most popular event of the NM Balloon Fiesta is the special shape rodeo that will take place
on October 12. This event started in 1989 and will feature 112 balloons this year. You can look
to the sky to see some of your kids’ favorite characters, like Smokey Bear and Humpty Dumpty,
as well as popular cartoon characters and animals.
Come For The Balloons, Stay For The Music
On Saturday, October 14, there will be a concert featuring Darius Rucker, Chris Young, and Old
Dominion. This all-day concert event will be the perfect way to wrap up an incredible week that
shows off all Albuquerque has to offer.
General admission for people 12 and up is $15 per person and is good for two sessions per day.
For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, click here.
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