Balloon Fiestas & Rallies

From high-mountain meadows to endless rolling prairies, New Mexico’s landscapes are out of this world and beyond description. It is a magical place of true adventure.

Imagine that you have a bird’s-eye view of the breathtaking landscapes rolling beneath you. Imagine you are part of this serene blue sky, a quiet observer from above of everything going on below.

Fanciful balloons - marvelous, mysterious, colorful balloons - evoke all of the wonder and fun of childhood’s simplest joys. Relive those magical days of youth in New Mexico. Floating high above this storied landscape of cities, villages and wide-open plains in a hot-air balloon is both a grand adventure and peaceful and meditative experience.

With nearly a million visitors each year, Albuquerque’s International Balloon Fiesta may be the world’s largest and best-known ballooning event – but it is not alone, as balloons set sail across New Mexico year-round. Balloon festivals in Taos, White Sands, Gallup and Elephant Butte join with Albuquerque to make hot-air ballooning in New Mexico and year-round adventure.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

“...For more than three decades, guests from all over the world come to Albuquerque to celebrate ballooning at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. ”

For more than three decades, guests from all over the world come to Albuquerque to celebrate ballooning at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Generally this event takes place the second week of October.

The New Mexico skies are painted as hundreds of balloons lift off from Albuquerque's Balloon Fiesta Park. Nothing rivals the power of Mass Ascension on crisp early mornings as these graceful giants leave the ground to take their place in the cerulean desert sky. For ballooning fans worldwide, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a pilgrimage. There's something for everyone to enjoy . . . whimsical special shapes filled with equal parts of hot air and wonder, and Balloon Glows that create a magical night landscape for spectators to wander. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta will leave you awestruck and wanting more.

From its modest beginnings in 1972 with 13 balloons launching from a shopping mall parking lot, the Balloon Fiesta has grown to multiple events launching year-round at the custom-designed, 365-acre Balloon Fiesta Park. The signature event remains Balloon Fiesta—which, with over 600 balloons, is the largest ballooning event on earth, the most photographed event on earth, and the largest annual international event held in the United States.

Balloon Fiesta Park is located north of Alameda Boulevard, one mile west of I-25.

For More Information, Websites and Media.

View our newest time lapse video from the 42nd ABQ International Balloon Fiesta.

Please visit the links to the right for more information regarding the 2014 43rd annual Balloon Fiesta.

This event is the most popular event in New Mexico so the time to book your accommodations is NOW!

White Sands Ballooning Invitational

“...The location is surreal in itself and when you add scores of colorful flying balloons, you have the White Sands Balloon Invitational at White Sands National Monument”

The annual White Sands Hot Air Balloon Invitational always takes place on a weekend in September.

The Hot Air Balloon Invitational grows more and more popular each year.

The location is surreal in itself and when you add scores of colorful flying balloons, you have the White Sands Balloon Invitational at White Sands National Monument and the Alamogordo Balloon Park. There's also a balloon glow held each night at Alamogordo High School.

The event begins right at sunrise and lasts until the balloons come down, usually 3 hours. There is a Balloon Glow at our local High School, Alamogordo High School, that takes place 30 minutes after sundown, usually 7:30 pm. Admission for the Balloon Glow is FREE.

The morning lift-offs you can reach best by going to White Sands National Monument. You have to take your own vehicle. White Sands Blvd., in Alamogordo, head South and follow the road when it turns to Hwy 70. This will lead you to White Sands National Monument.

Admittance to the balloon glow is free, while the only charge to attend the event at White Sands National Monument is the normal admittance fee ($3 per person ages 17 and older).

This popular event coincides with the Tularosa Basin Wine and Music Fest, in Alameda Park in Alamogordo, with live music, New Mexico wine samples, artists and vendors, as well as food and fun. Visit http://www.tularosabasinwinefest.com/

Red Rock Balloon Rally

“...adventure-seeking balloonists soar above the magnificent canyons where movie producers still film Western epics”

More than 200 balloons from across the country will take to the skies December 6-8, 2013 for the 33nd annual Red Rock Balloon Rally in and near Gallup.

Frequently described as a balloonist's paradise, a highly prized invitation to this event - the second largest balloon event in the world - offers pilots the opportunity to compete for fine Native American Arts and crafts. You'll want to have your camera ready as these rainbow colored giants come to life.

The Red Rocks are the cemented sands of a fossilized beach, colored by dissolved iron seeping down from more recent volcanic activity, and then worn smooth by Anasazi residents who carved hand and toe holds into the walls to reach the mesa tops. Now, adventure-seeking balloonists soar above the magnificent canyons where movie producers still film Western epics. This is the only ballooning event where spectators are encouraged to become active participants by joining balloon chase crews. The Red Rock Balloon Rally partners with many area service organizations to help provide funding for local service activities.

Events include:

Friday, December 6

Mass Ascensions at Fox Run Golf Course and Red Rock Park, 7:30 a.m.
Glow in the Rocks and Indian Dances at Red Rock Park, 6 p.m.

Saturday, December 7

Dawn Patrol at Red Rock Park, 6:30 a.m.
Mass Ascension at Red Rock Park, 7:30 a.m.
Pyramid Rock Run at Red Rock Park, 8 a.m.
Downtown Christmas Parade, 2 p.m.
Balloominaria at Rio West Mall and Castle Furniture, 6 p.m.

Sunday, December 8

Dawn Patrol at Red Rock Park, 6:30 a.m.
Mass Ascension at Red Rock Park, 7 a.m.
Awards Brunch and Auction at Red Rock Park, 10 a.m.

Elephant Butte Balloon Regatta

“...The Regatta traces its history back to the 1970s when balloonists would travel to Elephant Butte Lake”

The annual Elephant Butte Balloon Regatta at Elephant Butte Lake State Park each September is one of the country’s most unique balloon adventures. Balloonists, skippers and sponsors come together for mass ascensions and “Splash-n-Dash” balloon-boat relay races. “Chase” crews are motorboats.

The Regatta traces its history back to the 1970s when balloonists would travel to Elephant Butte Lake when they decided that spring had finally arrived and it was time to go to “the lake” and fly.

It has evolved into an incredible getaway for recreationists everywhere.

Encompassing the largest and most popular lake in New Mexico, Elephant Butte Lake State Park provides camping, boating, water skiing, swimming, fishing, hiking and bird watching. The visitor center offers regional information and interpretive exhibits. Southern New Mexico’s mild climate makes this park a popular year-round destination.

Taos Mountain Balloon Rally

“...Taos skies are filled with dozens of brightly colored hot air balloons lifting into the clear, cold dawn of a Taos Mountain sunrise”

Every year on the last full weekend in October, as the trees in the high country surrounding historic Taos erupt into a painter's canvas of oranges, reds, ambers and yellows, even more color is added to the vista as the Taos skies are filled with dozens of brightly colored hot air balloons lifting into the clear, cold dawn of a Taos Mountain sunrise during the Taos Mountain Balloon Rally.

Smaller than many such events, the Taos Mountain Balloon Rally typically hosts 35-50 balloons and crew each year.  The rally, primarily because it is smaller and more intimate, has become a popular stop for balloonists, families and crews. The event is very popular with locals, as well.  Parents and kids alike get "up-close and personal" with the balloonists every morning as the crews prepare for launch.

Big Annual Events

Annually In March
The Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show returns to the Sandia Resort every March
Early April
Cowboy Cooking at its Best
April 25, 26, 27, 2013
Gathering on Nations Pow Wow
Albuquerque
Memorial Day Weekend
Santa Fe’s only museum-quality Indian art show and sale.
July 5-7, 2013
Roswell UFO Festival
Roswell
July 4th Weekend
Come out and enjoy this terrific family friendly event with plenty of award winning BBQ.
July 12, 13 & 14, 2013
The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market
Santa Fe
July 26, 27 and 28, 2013
62nd Annual Traditional Spanish Market
Santa Fe
Late July Early August
Get down to Earth at the Silver City Clay Festival
4th weekend in August
The Great American Duck Race
Deming
August 7 - 11, 2013
Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial
Gallup
Annually In August
The Antique Indian & Ethnographic Art Show
August 12-18, 2013
SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market
Santa Fe
August 15th - 17th, 2013
Hot Chili Days & Cool Mountain Nights
Red River
August 31 & September 1, 2013
Hatch Chile Festival
Hatch, NM
September 21 - 22, 2013
Hot Air Balloon Invitational
White Sands National Monument
SEPTEMBER 25 - 29, 2013
Santa Fe Wine & Chile Festival
Santa Fe
Mid September
Globalquerque! is New Mexico's Annual Celebration of World Music and Culture.
September 27-29, 2013
The Whole Enchilada Festival
Las Cruces
Late September
We welcome you to come, explore, and help sustain the rural economy
October 5 - 13, 2013
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Albuquerque
October 11 - 13, 2013
Lincoln County
Cowboy Symposium
November 19 - 24, 2013
Festival of the Cranes
Bosque Del Apache
December 6 - 8 2013
Red Rock Balloon Rally
Gallup