Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, 1996 Photo Ferne Saltzman
Kodak Albuquerque International
29th year, the festival brings hundreds of balloon crews from
around the world. From a small gathering of 13 balloons in 1972,
the Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has grown to
become the largest balloon event in the world. Held each year
during the first week of October, the Balloon Fiesta now attracts
more than 900 balloons and 1200 pilots. Attendance at the event now
draws more than a million spectator visits a year, and that doesn't
include the hundreds of thousands of fans who watch from outside
Balloon Fiesta Park and on local, national and international TV. It
is estimated that in 1999 more than 25 million still photographs
were taken of the Balloon Fiesta, ensuring its title as "the
world's most photographed event."
Because of its unique combination of mountain
formations and wind characteristics, Albuquerque is considered a
great place to do precision flying. The "Albuquerque Box" effect
enables pilots to ascend from the field, move with the winds at
different altitudes, and even backtrack along their original
The Fiesta has grown not only in numbers of balloons
and spectators, but in the number of unique events as well. In
addition to the spectacular Mass Ascensions, the Balloon Fiesta has
added the Key Grab Contest, the Annual Balloon Glow, and the
Special Shape Rodeo. Another favorite happening at the Balloon
Fiesta does not actually involve ballooning, but the exchange of
Balloon Pins. Every year the Balloon Fiesta sponsors a new set of
collectable and commemorative pins, which are traded and worn as
mementos of each year's Fiesta.
The project includes narrative text; an article
entitled "Twenty Years of Hot Air and Proud Of It"; color slides;
two copies of the Luce Impact Report on media coverage of the
Fiesta and a "Spectator Market Profile"; a colorful souvenir
program from the 1999 event; multiple programs/brochures for the
2000 Fiesta, to be held October 1-15; a brochure on ballooning
facts and figures; multiple "Beat Gravity" bumper stickers; and a
video promo entitled "Celebrate Ballooning."
Originally submitted by: Pete V. Domenici,Senator.
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.