This year was an interesting one at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The first weekend was beautiful with flawless launches, but I never go on the first weekend because of the crowds, which are often more that 100,000 people. I usually go on Thursday, Friday and the second Saturday, because those days are dedicated to the special shapes, which are my favorites. This year it rained on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, I rose at 4:30 a.m., determined to see balloons.
It had snowed in the Sandias the night before, and it was cold as we stood around wondering whether the balloons would be cleared to launch.
Snow on the Sandias
The field was very wet and it was a bit breezy, which put the launch on hold. At 8:00 a.m. we got the word that the balloons were cleared to launch.
The balloons began to cold-inflate, which means that the balloon crew blows air into the balloon envelope with a big fan.
In a very short period of time there were inflated balloons all over the launch field.
Balloons waiting to launch.
Airabelle the Creamland cow is always a crowd favorite.
Balloons continued to inflate and began to launch.
Special shapes inflating, balloon launching.
The official Fiesta balloon launched, the band played the National Anthem, and the launch was officially underway.
Official Fiesta Balloon.
Let’s sit back and watch the balloons prepare to launch.
Butterfly and basketball.
Iwi the Kiwi, from New Zealand.
A cool dude.
Pepe Le Pew
Butterfly and bees.
Wells Fargo Stagecoach.
Haunted Mansion and Clock.
Balloon Fiesta Tourist.
I will post more Balloon Fiesta photos over the next week or so. Stay tuned.
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