Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 101

If you’re planning to attend the Balloon Fiesta spectacular event, here’s everything you need to know before you go.

Everything You Need to Know Before You Go To The Albuquerque Balloon Festival

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is one of the most iconic and colorful events in the United States, attracting balloon enthusiasts and spectators from around the world.

A group of hot air balloons in a field.

If you’re planning to attend this spectacular event, here’s everything you need to know before you go:

1. Dates and Location:

  • The Balloon Fiesta usually takes place in early October. Be sure to check the official website for the most up-to-date information on dates.
  • The event is held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, primarily at Balloon Fiesta Park, located at 5000 Balloon Fiesta Parkway NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113.

2. Tickets:

  • Admission tickets are required for entry, and prices vary depending on the day and time you choose to attend. Tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the gate.
  • Special packages and discounts may be available, so check the official website for details.

3. Parking:

  • Parking at the event can be limited, so it’s a good idea to arrive early, especially on weekends.
  • You can purchase parking passes in advance to secure a spot or take advantage of park-and-ride services from designated locations in Albuquerque.
A hot air balloon in the sky.

4. Balloon Launches:

  • The main attraction of the Fiesta is the hot air balloon mass ascension of hot air balloons. These typically occur early in the morning (around dawn) and in the evening (around dusk). Weather conditions can affect whether or not balloons launch.
  • Be prepared for early mornings and chilly temperatures during the dawn launches.

5. Special Shapes Rodeo:

  • This event features uniquely shaped balloons, creating a whimsical and entertaining spectacle. Check the schedule for the specific days and times of the Special Shapes Rodeo.

6. Balloon Fiesta Night Glows:

  • Night Glows are a mesmerizing display where balloons are inflated and illuminated in sync with music. These events usually take place in the evening and are a must-see.

7. Food and Refreshments:

  • There are numerous food vendors offering a wide variety of cuisines, from traditional New Mexican fare to international options.
  • Don’t forget to try the local specialty, green or red chile, while you’re in Albuquerque.
Williams connors las vegas food truck.

8. Weather and Attire:

  • Albuquerque can have cool mornings and evenings in October, so dress in layers. Bring a jacket or sweater.
  • Check the weather forecast before attending, as unfavorable weather conditions can affect balloon launches.
Albuquerque weather - screenshot.

9. Photography Tips:

  • Bring your camera or smartphone to capture the stunning balloon displays. Sunrise and sunset are great times for photography.
  • Be respectful of other spectators and avoid obstructing their views while taking pictures.
A tripod with a hot air balloon in the background.

10. Balloon Fiesta Safety and Guidelines:

  • Follow the event guidelines and instructions from staff for a safe and enjoyable experience.
  • Keep a safe distance from the balloons and their equipment.

11. Souvenirs and Shopping:

  • There are numerous souvenir shops and craft vendors at the event, so you can take home a piece of the Fiesta.
A man wearing a black jacket with a logo on it.

12. Balloon Fiesta Accommodations:

  • Book your accommodations well in advance, as hotels in Albuquerque can fill up quickly during the Fiesta. Be ready for the RV sites to go on sale because they go fast.
An aerial view of many rvs parked in a parking lot.

13. Local Attractions:

  • Explore the beauty of Albuquerque and New Mexico by visiting nearby attractions such as the Sandia Peak Tramway, Old Town Albuquerque, and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.
A gondola is flying over a mountain with mountains in the background.

14. Plan Ahead for the Balloon Fiesta:

  • Review the official Balloon Fiesta website for the latest information on schedules, events, and any COVID-19-related guidelines or restrictions.


  • The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2023 is an eagerly anticipated event held in the city of Albuquerque, attracting visitors from all over the world.
  • Attendees can pick up a map to ensure they don’t miss any of the spectacular events or photos.
  • Consider taking advantage of one of the Balloon Festival 2023 packages to add convenience and comfort to your stay.
  • The festival will take place from October 7th to 15th, 2023 at Balloon Fiesta Park Albuquerque.
  • Don’t forget to book a ride with Rainbow Ryders for a unique perspective of the event and follow the Balloon Fiesta on Twitter for live updates.
  • Be sure to consider Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta weather when planning your visit, and appreciate the history behind this iconic event.


Attending the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is a memorable experience that offers a feast for the senses.

Make the most of your visit by planning ahead and immersing yourself in the vibrant world of hot air balloons.

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Albuquerque balloon fiesta 101 everything you need to know.

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