By Cheri Sicard
In the video below, Brian and Michelle, the team from LivinRVision, take us with them to visit the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta—an RV trip on many RVers’ bucket lists. If you ever wondered if it is worth going, watch the video, find out, and live vicariously through Brian and Michelle. Although the couple says that they’ve watched videos in the past, it just does not compare to the awe and spectacle of actually being there.
Each October, hundreds of hot air balloon enthusiasts gather and set in motion some of the most spectacular sights available in the “Land of Enchantment,” which is pretty darn spectacular even without a sky filled with colorful hot air balloons.
Brian and Michelle attended the Fiesta as part of an Escapees trip. Therefore, everything was set up, organized, and arranged before they arrived. They picked up an information pack, got themselves parked, and it was time for fun!
This is a huge event with lots of RVs and, as such, infrastructure services such as water and holding tank dumper trucks are on-site. As of last year’s Fiesta, water was free and it cost $30 for someone to come and dump out your tanks.
A pilot presentation and demonstration explaining the process and mechanics of hot air ballooning was first on the agenda.
After an extremely early rise the next morning, they joined the Escapees shuttle and motored over to the balloon field. It was still dark when the “Dawn Patrol” of hot air balloons began ascending into the Albuquerque skies. These early ballooners test wind conditions and fly until it becomes light enough to spot the landing pads.
After that comes the “morning glow” when all the balloons light their torches and begin filling. After an opening ceremony and national anthem, an awe-inspiring mass ascension begins.
The sheer volume of balloons astonishes—over 650 of them. The mass ascension takes a couple of hours to complete and get all of the flying craft into the air. As soon as one launches, another takes its place until all are in the air.
A small city pops up around this event. On the ground, a carnival-like atmosphere offers tons of food and vendor options as well as a wide variety of live entertainment.
The couple then take the shuttle bus back to camp before returning for the “evening glow” and fireworks.
If you can imagine, the launch field itself is over 80 acres, so that’s a lot of hot air balloons. Actually, you don’t need to imagine, watch the video and see!
Watch the video to get more of a feel for what it is like to attend the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, how much it costs, and practical tips to keep you comfortable while there. One word of warning: This a HUGE, crowded event, so if you don’t like crowds, enjoy it on the video, take a pass on attending, and scratch this from your bucket to-do list.
Learn more about the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta here.
Discover more about Escapees RV Club here.