The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is known as one of the best international balloon festivals in the world, and it certainly did not disappoint this year when it kicked off with a mass balloon ascent, which saw 500 balloons take to the desert skies.
This year’s festival, which ran from the 3- 11 October, was the 44th annual festival to be held in the New Mexico city.
Hot air balloonists from over 20 countries worldwide and from dozens of US states descended on the festival, eager to take to the skies and put on a good show for the tens of thousands of spectators who visited the festival during its nine day run.
It is thought that this year’s fiesta is one of the most photographed events in the world, which is hardly surprising as not only because so many people flocked to the event, but also because there were some truly amazing balloons on display, including balloons shaped like Star Wars character Yoda, a sunglasses sporting flying pick and a pair of kissing bees.
Speaking about the amazing mass balloon ascensions, one spectator Marilyn Oates from Michigan said:
“There’s no explaining the majesty of it, and it’s so huge and you can’t explain it in words,’ she said. ‘You have to come and see it.”
Also present at the event was a Darth Vader shaped balloon, which was manufactured by a company based in Bristol UK, which is also known for its own hot air balloon event, The Bristol International Balloon Festival. Hot air balloon rides in Bristol are also very popular.