By Campsite Correspondent Crystal Muzik
Imagine one hot air balloon floating high in the clear blue sky of the Southwestern state of New Mexico. What does it make you feel? Does it make you feel a sense of wonder, enlightenment, magic, or like a child at play? Now imagine over 500 hot air balloons floating over the Sandia Mountains for the world’s largest balloon fiesta. Awe inspiring, right?
Located in the high desert of central New Mexico, the city of Albuquerque (good luck on figuring out how to spell it, most shorten it to ABQ), will be hosting their annual International Balloon Fiesta from October 3 – 11, 2015. The festival includes: a dawn lighting, balloon challenges/races, the mass accession, an evening night glow, food, exhibits, and music delight over 100,000 people during this spectacular event.
I attended the festival in 2010 as a birthday treat to myself. I went with a local I met through Couchsurfing and we awoke at 3:45 AM to catch a public bus to the morning glow event.
This was definitely worth the early wake up. We wandered the aisles and aisles of balloons laid out like the first day of school clothes. Flames of bright orange would flare and give an eerie feel to the dark morning turning into twilight hour. The roar of the flame was ear shattering, as well as the actual heat you could physically feel from the flames! As the morning sun peeked over the Sandia Mountains, the balloons started to fill up with air and take off. It was synchronized with the sunrise and before you knew it, the whole sky turned blue to awaken a new day. A new day filled with over 500 hot air balloons!
Balloons of all shapes, sizes, and colors filled the sky with wonder.
The colors were unbelievable and seemed to even glow throughout the sunny day. It was wonderful to see adults expressing joy like little children, gazing up at the sky in bewilderment. What a visual treat! Be sure to add the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to your bucket list for 2016!