OCT. 6-14 2018

Event News & Updates

Nov 3, 2015

2015 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® Event Overview

World’s Largest Ballooning Event Hosted more than 550 Balloon Teams

 For Immediate Release

Contact: Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group 505.898.8689,


Albuquerque, NM – October 3-11 marked the 44th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta presented by Canon. This year there were more than 550 registered balloon teams, including 105 special shape balloons.


Balloons representing 17 countries filled Albuquerque skies during the nine-day event, including those from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Russian Federation, Spain,  Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States. There were 44 states represented in this year’s Balloon Fiesta.


Balloon Fiesta’s estimated attendance was 955,703 visits.  The number is up from 2014’s estimated 848,393.  There may be several reasons for the increased attendance this year including the weather and new event demonstrations like the Parabatix and Laser Light Shows.


Every mornings’ flying event went off successfully, thanks to agreeable weather.  Weather conditions for some evening events and the America’s Challenge Gas Race were not as cooperative; evening glow events were canceled on October 4 and 8 and the gas race wasn’t conducted because of the weather downwind of the Launch Field. In all, 12 of the scheduled 14 sessions were successful this year.  Also in attendance were 1,010 media representatives from 147 organizations. 


This year marked the third annual Music Fiesta, a star-studded country music concert on the final Saturday of the Balloon Fiesta featured The Band Perry, Gloriana and Two Way Crossing. The concert preceded the announcement of the 2015 Film Fest presented by Comcast winners as each of the team’s videos were presented and shown on the big screen. This year, a film team from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design: New Mexico School of Art won first place and will have their video shown on Comcast’s local On Demand product.

The first prize in the hot air overall competition was awarded to Rhett Heartsill, of Texas. Second place winner was Maurice Petrehn of Kansas and third went to Joe Heartsill of Texas. Shawn Raya of Michigan took home the prize for the Sid Cutter Memorial Challenge.

The 45th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, with the theme “Desert Kaleidoscope” is scheduled to launch October 1-9, 2016.


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. For details on events, schedule, entertainment and photographs visit our website www.balloonfiesta.com and follow us in on Twitter @BalloonFiesta and Facebook.