Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® Celebrates 40th Event
World’s Largest Ballooning Event Takes to Skies October 1-9, 2011
Albuquerque, NM – The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta celebrates its 40th event with over 500 hot air balloons representing 20 countries and honoring the person who started it all in 1972 Sid Cutter, the founder and “Father of Fiesta”.
The 40th event will occur October 1-9, 2011 at Balloon Fiesta Park. New this year will be the Sandia Resort and Casino $100,000 challenge, the richest active prize in ballooning. It will test pilot’s skill and provide great visuals as competitors play an airborne version of ring toss, trying to connect with one of ten poles during the competitive flying events.
The breathtaking mass ascensions featuring two waves of hot air balloons will fill Albuquerque’s morning skies with hundreds of hot air balloons on October 1, 2, 5, 8 and 9. Evening events bring dusk to life with Balloon Glows on October 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8.
Opening day at Balloon Fiesta Park will feature a “Missing Man Formation” balloon launch to honor the “Father of Fiesta” Sid Cutter who passed away earlier this year. The 16th America’s Challenge Gas Balloon event, a cross country competition will also help kick off the opening day festivities.
The hot air competitive flying starts on Monday of Balloon Fiesta week with pilots aiming to win the richest active prize in hot air ballooning; during the Sandia Resort and Casino $100,000 Challenge. Competitive flying will continue throughout the week, taking a break on Wednesday for the Flight of the Nations. The Flight of the Nations will honor the 20 countries participating in the 40th event, as each flies their nation’s flags from their balloon.
Flying pigs, a giant butterfly and other unique objects are among the 98 special shape balloons that will take to the skies for their own mass ascension and balloon glows on Thursday and Friday at Balloon Fiesta Park.
For details on events, schedule, entertainment and photographs visit our website www.balloonfiesta.com and follow us in on Twitter @BalloonFiesta and Facebook.
About the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is an annual festival of hot air balloons that takes place every October in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. It is the largest gathering of balloons and balloonists in the world. For details on events, schedule, entertainment and photographs visit our website www.balloonfiesta.com and follow us in on Twitter@BalloonFiesta and Facebook.