Balloon Fiesta Opening Ceremonies to Kickoff 49th Event with a Salute to Medical Personnel, First Responders and All Essential Workers
October 2, 2021
WHAT: The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta’s opening ceremony will include several elements which will conclude with an aerial salute to our first responders and healthcare workers who have kept essential services flowing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Balloon Fiesta’s Opening Ceremonies will kick off with the National Anthem, sung by Bobby Garcia, First Responder, at 6:55 a.m. on the Main Street Stage.
As the national anthem is sung, the Balloon of the Day (Fiesta Balloon/Visit Albuquerque) will launch to the skies.
At the end of the anthem, flying over a unified candlelight burn of more than 200 hot air balloon burners firing in unison, Albuquerque’s own Chile Flight will fly in formation, dropping smoke, over Balloon Fiesta.
The Chile Flight will then circle back over the field and create a smoke shaped “heart” symbol in honor of all medical workers and first responders.
Chile Flight has been flying together over 8 years and have safely completed over 475 formation flights together. They normally practice once per week to maintain a high level of skill and safety. Between the Chile flight pilots, they have over 350 years of aviation experience.
The Flight is comprised of four retired military officers, an aviation software engineer, a retired chemical engineer, a collegiate level instructor in aviation construction and former aerobatics competitor and a physician.
WHO: Balloon Fiesta and Chile Flight
WHEN: Saturday, October 2, 2021, 7 a.m.
WHERE: Balloon Fiesta Park
9401 Balloon Fiesta Pkwy NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113