The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta celebrates its 40th event from October 1 to 9 at Balloon Fiesta Park with 550 hot air balloons representing 20 countries and honoring the person who started it all in 1972 – Sid Cutter, the founder and "Father of Fiesta".
New this year will be the Sandia Resort and Casino $100,000 challenge, the richest active prize in ballooning. It will test pilots' skill and provide great visuals as competitors play an airborne version of ring toss, trying to connect with one of ten poles during the competitive flying events.
The mass ascensions will fill Albuquerque's morning skies with 550 hot air balloons on October 1, 2, 8 and 9. The 16th America’s Challenge Gas Balloon event, a cross country competition, and the popular Balloon Glows (featuring 200+ hot air balloons in static display flickering their burners at sunset and into dusk) will round out the first weekend's evening events.
Opening day at Balloon Fiesta Park will also feature both a balloon version and airplane version of the "Missing Man Formation" balloon launch to honor the so-called "Father of Fiesta" Sid Cutter who passed away earlier this year.
The competitive flying starts on Monday of Balloon Fiesta week. Competitive flying will continue throughout the week, taking a break on Wednesday for the Flight of the Nation's.
Flying pigs, a giant butterfly and other unique objects are among the 99 special shape balloons that will take to the skies for their own mass ascension and balloon glows on Thursday and Friday at Balloon Fiesta Park. Additional Mass Ascensions and a Balloon Glow will be included in the final weekend.
For more information visit the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
For more information about top events in New Mexico take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in New Mexico. http://www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-new-mexico.html