The Albuquerque International Balloon Festival was begun in 1972.
A local radio station, 770 KOB, which is still with us, was celebrating their 50th anniversary. They convinced Sid Cutter, who operated a small airport in Albuquerque, and had the only hot air balloon in New Mexico, to let them use his hot air balloon as part of the celebration. The rest is history.
In 2019, there are 588 balloons in the sky, 866,414 guests, and 671 pilots from around the globe.
Standing on a hill at the Juan Tabo picnic ground, this early morning photo is of balloonists beginning a mass ascension into clear skies. The city of Albuquerque spreads out almost as far as you can see and the balloons look lazy in the skies. There will be events, competitions, and spectacles during the festival and fun will be had by all.
The festival runs, this year, from October 3rd, 2020 to October 11th. The official website gives specifics, videos, photographs, reviews, news about the next balloon extravaganza to hit our city.
From the top of the little hill, Scotttreks gets an easy look at the balloons, without parking issues, crowds, and expenses.
Not liking heights much, if I had my choice, I would opt out of ballooning for snorkeling in the Caribbean with brightly colored fish and pina coladas in the middle of the afternoon.
The balloons, this morning, look like periods in a novel, jumping off the page, glad to be away from all those crazy human misconceptions, yearnings, and propaganda.