Volunteering at the Balloon Fiesta

Become a Balloon Fiesta Navigator!

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is looking for upbeat, enthusiastic, caring people to join our team of Navigators!

Balloon Fiesta is a large, complex event requiring the over 1,000 volunteers who help before, during and after the event. These volunteers, called "Navigators," are critical to every area of operations. They provide guest services, administrative services, balloon coordination and safety, set-up and logistics, and more in over 40 different areas. This variety of needs allows just about any person, with any skills, talents or interests, to experience Balloon Fiesta from a new perspective.

Learn more about volunteering at Balloon Fiesta at our "Volunteering FAQs." 


Applications for the 2020 event will open January 2020.


 If you have any questions please email balloons@balloonfiesta.com


Thank you for your interest! And thank you to everyone who signed up to help for 2019!

Crew Registration

If you are interested in joining a chase crew for the 2019 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, please complete the application prior to September 1.   APPLICATION 

Balloon Fiesta contracts a number of local service organizations, such as the Civitans or Kiwanis, to manage areas such as parking lots, admission booths and merchandise sales. Those organizations then staff those areas with smaller organizations, who then receive a portion of sales proceeds from that area. This allows the smaller organization to fund-raise for various causes. 

If your group is looking for fundraising opportunities, contact the Balloon Fiesta staff person listed below, and they will connect you with the appropriate management organization. 

  • Admissions, parking and fee-for-parking
    If your group would like to help in one of these areas, Dennis Christiansen,Transportation Manager, at (505) 821-1000  or dchristiansen@balloonfiesta.com.
  • Souvenir Sales
    Selling souvenir and glow products via roving carts. If your group would like to help in this area, contact Erica Hahn, Concessions Manager, at (505) 821-1000 or ehahn@balloonfiesta.com.

For other group inquiries, email balloons@balloonfiesta.com.

Welcome to the place where Balloon Fiesta Navigators can find all the information pertinent to volunteering at Balloon Fiesta.

If you are interested in becoming a Navigator at Balloon Fiesta, please complete the Navigator Application (will be available in January). 

Log in to Your Navigator Profile
  • Need to update your contact information, shirt or jacket size, or other registration data? Click here for your Navigator Profile
  • Forgot your password? Click here for a Password Reset
  • For a tutorial about how to use your profile, click here: Profile Tutorial
  • If your team uses self-scheduling, you can view the self-scheduling tutorial here: Self-Scheduling Tutorial

Problems or questions? Send an email to balloons@balloonfiesta.com

Important Information
Navigators on Facebook
 Join our new Facebook group: AIBF Navigators

This is a private group for current AIBF Navigators only. It's a great place to meet and engage with fellow volunteers, get event updates, and have fun year-round! 

Navigator Training
Basic Training

Below are the Basic Training videos and quizzes. Click on the name of the training and you will be taken directly to the video and quiz.

1. History of Ballooning - 2018 Video.........Learn the basics of hot air balloon flight and the history of ballooning. (11 minutes)
2. History of Balloon Fiesta- 2018 Video...….Learn the history of Balloon Fiesta. (10 minutes)
3. Guest Service - 2018 Video...…. Learn the most important principles to providing top-notch guest (customer) service. (33 minutes)
4. Public Safety and Security- 2019 Video.....Learn how the Public Safety team ensures that Balloon Fiesta is one of the safest events in the country, and how you can help support their efforts. This training is required in 2019 and must be renewed every other year. (27 minutes)

5. 2019 Balloon Fiesta Event Information** - Get the latest details, specifics and changes for this year's event, such as prices, locations, etc. Now available! (22 minutes)

Don't forget to click on the quiz link in the video descriptions to get credit for watching these videos.

** This video is updated yearly and is required viewing each year.

Merit Training

Merit Classes are optional, "extra-credit" classes offered to our Navigators for a variety of reasons. We want to invest in you - to offer you additional skills to help you be a better Navigator and to give you training and education you can use in other areas of your life. These classes are free to Navigators who work a minimum of 5 shifts or 25 hours per year. For video classes, complete the video verification form for each video. Link to form is located in the YouTube video description.

Video Merit Classes

  1. Gas Ballooning for Navigators - A more indepth look at the world of Gas Ballooning with Barbara Fricke. (45 min) New June 2019
  2. Gas Ballooning 101 - Similar to Ballooning 101, but focuses on the sport of gas ballooning. (11 min)
  3. America’s Challenge - The history of America’s Challenge Event, Updated for 2018. (18 min)
  4. Advanced Customer Service - Learn techniques for dealing with Guest issues. New June 2019 (55 min)
  5. History of AIBF - A more indepth look at the history of the AIBF. New June 2019 (38 min)
  6. The 2019 Event Presentation - A more indepth look at the 2019 Event and the many activities that take place during the 9 days. New August 2019. (59 min) NOTE: This is NOT the required Event video! See # 5 above.

In-person Merit Classes.

CPR Certification, First Aid and AED - This class offers full CPR certification. Classes are offered in spring and summer. The CPR Classes are available to Navigators and are offered in person in Albuquerque.

Other Merit Opportunities

Advanced Ballooning (Crew Training) Pick an option from the list below! You only need one to get the credit. 

  1. Attend a AAAA (or equivalent ) Crew Seminar. Dates will be announced.
  2. Already BFA certified crew? Submit your certificates showing your level of completion
  3. Complete the BFA Crew Achievement paperwork and submit to us. NO BFA membership needed.
  4. Already a pilot? Submit your pilot’s information (copy of license and logbook entry of last flight review)

Submit all evidence to balloons@balloonfiesta.com.  In the subject field please put Advanced Crew Evidence.

While Balloon Fiesta does not offer paid workamp positions, we have a team of RV volunteers who work additional hours and receive RV parking, and other benefits when a certain level of volunteer hours are reached. If you're interested in our workamp positions, please read the following requirements.

Workamper Requirements: 
  • Workampers will be required to work 51+ total hours per person, working 4-5 hours per day.
  • Workampers will need to arrive on or around Labor Day and work through Balloon Fiesta for 2-3 days following the event.
  • Woman will work in the office putting packs together and helping Staff memebers out. The Men will be out at the RV Lots pulling weeds, movig rocks etc to prepare the RV Lots for our guests.  
  • During the event, workampers park arriving RVs from 8a-7p. Depending on how large the RV team is, the hours of parking may be split into shifts.
  • Workampers must meet the basic Navigator training requirements, which consists of watching five videos, which each last less than 30 minutes. Each video is followed by a short essay question.
Workamper Benefits:
  • Workampers who meet the above requirements will receive free RV parking.
  • Workampers also receive full Navigator packs, which include: 
    • Admission into the 9-day event
    • Access to the Navigator Hospitality Tent for meals and snacks
    • The current year's Navigator shirt
    • Invitations to a variety of Balloon Fiesta parties
    • The current year's Navigator Outerwear Item
    • The current year's Navigator lapel pin
    • The current year's Official Event Program
    • The current year's Official Calendar

If you are interested in being part of our RV Navigators team, please contact complete the Navigator Registration and indicate that you are interested in workamping. Please note that there are a limited number of positions on this team.

If you have questions about the workamp positions, please send an email to balloons@balloonfiesta.com.



Launch Director applications are open!  If you are interested in becoming a ZEBRA, please check back next year!  Each year applications for new members start in March and close in May.