Ten Things to know for the 2021 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
April 28, 2021
The 49th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta will launch on October 2, 2021. The nine-day event will feature more than 600 hot air balloons and celebrate the sport with its nine morning sessions and five evening sessions. Morning sessions generally feature an array of balloons launching from, or into, Balloon Fiesta Park, decorating the blue Albuquerque skies, whereas evening sessions showcase a magical static display of balloons lighting up the night sky. Whether on a hunt for a relaxed or adventurous experience, guests can expect an unforgettable visit while at Balloon Fiesta.
Here is a list of 10 things to know when planning a trip to this year’s Balloon Fiesta:
Safety:The safety of all our guests and participants is always at the top of our list. Balloon Fiesta’s leadership continues its work with the State of New Mexico to develop COVID Safe Practices (CSPs) that will enable outdoor festivals and in particular Balloon Fiesta to continue to provide a safe guest friendly event. As an outdoor event, with more than 350 acres for guests to self-isolate, Balloon Fiesta organizers are confident this year’s event will present a safe environment for all who may attend.
The event staff, with guidance from medical professionals, will continue to identify public health measures for the existing and anticipated requirements of our Event. Balloon Fiesta expects to have that information available by the time tickets go on sale July 2, 2021. The measures will continue to be updated as conditions evolve. Visit our News and Updates page for rolling updates on safety measures and practices.
Relaxation: In general, New Mexico has a reputation of welcoming a slower pace; Balloon Fiesta complements that atmosphere, in that there is a comfortable pace for enjoying the event. During the sessions guests can freely explore the 365-acre Balloon Fiesta Park as they choose or simply stay put with a blanket and coffee. Balloon Fiesta is pleasant and unassuming; the perfect place to kickback and look up. For a full rundown of the event, visit our online Guest Guide.
Weather: October is a wonderful time of year to visit Albuquerque, New Mexico. The cool mornings provide the perfect scene to watch hundreds of hot air balloons soar through New Mexico’s bright blue skies. After the sun rises, so does the temperature; guests should prepare by dressing in layers to accommodate the changes in temperatures during sessions. For more information about the weather in Albuquerque and why it is the ideal place to fly balloons, visit our Weather page.
Welcoming: Balloon Fiesta is fortunate to have a longstanding and committed board of directors, staff and many volunteers to help run this international event. This event and the memories it brings to everyone attending, is the passion of the Balloon Fiesta team and its surrounding community. While preparing for Balloon Fiesta and attending the event, guests can rest assured that there will always be a friendly face available to help make the experience the best it can be. For more information on how to enjoy this year’s event visit our Quick Facts page.
Getting Around: Balloon Fiesta offers an accommodating environment for all guests. Guests who are interested in seeing every inch of Balloon Fiesta Park can roam freely, seeing not only the balloons, but enjoying some of the many food and merchandise concessionaires, booths and entertainment. For guests who prefer to self-isolate, they can sit back and enjoy the scenery, there are a variety of places to view the launch from Balloon Fiesta Park. To learn more about options available to Balloon Fiesta guests, visit the Tickets page.
Surrounding Scenery: One of the greatest things about the Balloon Fiesta is that morning sessions start and end early, leaving plenty of time for travelers to make the most of their visits to New Mexico. Whether it is exploring a nearby attraction, scenic byway, town or pueblo, the event and its location lend well to those seeking adventure. To learn more about Albuquerque and New Mexico, visit our Travel Help page.
Accessibility: Here is a list of the many options guests have when accessing Balloon Fiesta Park:
General Parking at Balloon Fiesta is $20 per session, visit this page for more information on driving to and parking at the event.
Fiesta Express Park and Ride is a great way to avoid traffic, leaving your vehicle at a convenient location and getting shuttled to Balloon Fiesta Park. Visit the Park and Ride page for more information.
Ride Share: Balloon Fiesta team members are working with local ride share companies to operate a convenient location and process for guests to be dropped off at Balloon Fiesta Park. More details to come on our Travel Help page.
Bike Valet: Guests who ride their bikes to Balloon Fiesta Park can store them for free during their visit at the Bike Valet. For more information on the program visit the Bike Valet Page.
Atmosphere: Watching hundreds of balloons float through clear, blue, New Mexico skies is magical but there is so much more that makes Balloon Fiesta the most fun and popular hot air balloon festival in the world. Morning and evening sessions at Balloon Fiesta are packed with entertainment, food and merchandise, ballooning competitions, fireworks and more and with a backdrop of the Sandia Mountains, it creates the perfect opportunity to explore and escape. For a full rundown of what takes place at each session, visit the Event Schedule.
New Experiences: Strolling amongst hundreds of hot air balloons about to launch at dawn or glowing at sunset is a breathtaking experience. With pilots visiting from almost every U.S. state and around the world, the cultural flair is unmistakable. Whether it’s watching woodcarvers create a masterpiece, attending the America’s Challenge Gas Race inflation or cheering on pilots during competitions, there is always an opportunity to see something new. Check out the Entertainment Schedule and Event Schedule for more information.
Food & Cuisine: Enjoy a local creation or a fair favorite on Balloon Fiesta’s Main Street, which is lined with many options. Famous breakfast burritos featuring authentic New Mexican red and green chile are always in abundance and can double as hand warmers! A full list of food concessionaires will be released closer to the event.
For additional insights and information about the event visit balloonfiesta.com, Facebook (www.facebook.com/balloonfiesta) and Twitter (@balloonfiesta) for regular updates. For guests planning their trip, Visit Albuquerque’s website (www.visitabq.org) and New Mexico’s State Tourism Department’s (www.newmexico.org) website are also helpful resources.
About the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is an annual festival of hot air balloons that takes place every October in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. It is the largest gathering of balloons and balloonists in the world. The 2019 event generated $186.82 Million into the Albuquerque and the State of New Mexico economies. For details on events, schedule, entertainment and photographs visit our website www.balloonfiesta.com and follow us on Twitter @BalloonFiesta and Facebook.