Albuquerque balloon fiesta crowd color 1250

I’m going to use multiple photos on this post so you can get a sense of the large crowds at the event and just how spectacular it was.

The balloons are first unrolled and stretched out:

Albuquerque balloon fiesta balloon on ground color 750

Filling the balloon or envelope doesn’t take long. The wicker basket beneath is called a gondola:

Albuquerque balloon fiesta ground me color 1000

There were all kinds of novelty shapes mixed in with the regular-shaped hot air balloons. These were often sponsored by businesses:

Albuquerque balloon fiesta elephant balloon color 750

It was absolutely thrilling to be part of the crowd, watching the colorful balloons and hearing the burners roaring as their flames filled the balloons with hot air.