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Event News & Updates

Aug 31, 2016

The Bimbo Bear, Mariachi and Lovebirds to Soon Fill Albuquerque Skies


The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® Announces New Special Shapes and a New Twist for the 2016 Event

Albuquerque, NM – The 45th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta presented by Canon will host international Special Shape balloon teams as a part of the world’s premier balloon event, October 1-9. This year’s event will include 108 special shape balloons representing nine countries, 17 of those shapes will make their first ever flight as a part of Balloon Fiesta.

Special Shape balloons have held a special honor at Balloon Fiesta® since the premiere of the Special Shape Rodeo™ in 1989, the first event of its kind devoted exclusively to Special Shapes hot air balloons. For many, it’s the most popular event at Balloon Fiesta Park. On Thursday and Friday of Balloon Fiesta week during the Special Shapes Rodeo, Special Shape balloons will take to the launch field and ascend into the sky, creating a delightful display of wondrous shapes and fun characters. Special Shapes also participate in two evening events; known at the Special Shape Glowdeo™. The balloons remain tethered to the ground, lighting their burners to create a spectacular glowing effect.

Guests viewing the Special Shape Rodeo™ will be in for a few new twists during the 2016 event.  Special shape balloons will be grouped by subject matter.  Balloons will be grouped by themes including:

  • Pirate Ship Theme: Pegleg Pete (pirate parrot) – Jack (pirate) – SquawkURs (parrot)
  • Love Theme: Skyheart (heart shape) - Lovebirds – Puddles & Splash (penguins) – Husband & Wife – The Stork
  • Sports Theme:  Basketball - High Top Flier (basketball shoe) – Soccer Ball – Touchdown (football)
  • Fireman Theme: Little Fireman – Fire Engine – Dexter (flame) – Fire Hydrant
  • Police Theme: Keystone Willy (cop) – Little Con
  • Space Theme: American Rocket – Alien Rocket - Cosmos 1 (spaceman) – Gordo (1st monkey in space) – Sunny Boy
  • Ocean Theme: Mr. Fish – Wally – Sea Fantasy – Neptuno – Sushi

In addition, guests will be able to view the special shape balloons throughout the competitive flying events on Thursday and Friday (weather permitting and pilot discretion). Both of these new twists will create an opportunity to interact with the balloons and share pictures on social media with friends and family.

One of the new special shape balloons was inspired by the 2015 Balloon Fiesta when Bimbo Bakery executives viewed the Special Shape Rodeo™. They were so moved by the shapes that the leadership commissioned “Bimbo Bear”, an almost all white hot air balloon fashioned after the company’s mascot!

Special Shape hot air balloons (and home country) making their inaugural appearance at Balloon Fiesta include:

Balloon Name

Country

HAPPY CAROUCEL 

Brazil

COPTER BOY    

Brazil

BIG HUG

Brazil

FLYING GATOR

Brazil

ALIEN ROCKET

Canada

CON AIR

Czech Republic

THE CATHEDRAL

Dominican Republic

MR. CLOWN

Germany

SIMBALOO

Great Britain

GNOME

Great Britain

MARIACHI

Mexico

DEXTER

Netherlands

BIMBO BEAR

US

THE LOVEBIRDS

US

WHOOZ'UP

US

SCORCH

US

MR.FISH

US

 

While many of the special shapes will be flying all week long, Balloon Fiesta has two events that feature only special shape balloons. The Special Shape Rodeo™ and Glowdeo™ events will take place Thursday, October 6 and Friday, October 7. Check out a preview of this year’s Special Shape list: http://www.balloonfiesta.com/pilots-and-crew/special-shapes-directory.