Albuquerque's 29th Balloon Fiesta slated for nine days in October

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The 29th annual Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, billed as ballooning's largest event, will take place at Balloon Fiesta Park here from Oct. 7 through 15.

The nine-day event will host a thousand hot-air and gas balloons.

Beginning with just 13 balloons, the Fiesta was launched initially in 1972 from the Coronado Center shopping mall parking lot in front of 20,000 visitors.

The International Balloon Fiesta runs from Oct. 7 to 15.This year's festival is expected to draw more than 1 million people.

Among the events will be four "balloon glows," featuring hundreds of balloons afloat at night with burners ignited.

There also will be specially shaped balloons, such as a replica of a cow, a motorcycle, Noah's Ark and a stagecoach.

The Fiesta will feature competitive contests, with prizes ranging from cash or airline tickets to a Ford truck.

The Fiesta has become popular for campers and recreational vehicle drivers.

Event organizers set aside 78 acres with 2,200 sites for such guests, who can begin checking in on Oct. 2.

The International Balloon Fiesta generates an estimated $76.8 million of direct spending for the New Mexico economy each year, according to organizers.

Other large ballooning events take place in South Carolina, Nevada and in France.

2000 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Phone: (505) 821-1000
Web: www.aibf.org

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