You just knew I couldn’t resist sharing photos of balloons from the Balloon Fiesta long before I had the posts on the event written.

I’ve had several people say it’s a “once in a lifetime” experience but I’m strongly resisting that label to my nearly two weeks there. I absolutely do not plan for this to be once in a lifetime. In fact, I have already calendared the 2021 dates.

As I’m sure this is true of everyone who attended the event, I took tons of photos. The awe never ends. So, even on Day 9, I was snap, snap, snapping away on my camera. I posted a photo a day on Facebook and, of course, I’ll include more with the posts I write about the event. But that still leaves too many un-shared great photos. Hence, today’s post of balloons. I chose a few from each day.

Day 1

5 hot air balloons laying on their side on the grass as they are getting inflated.
Halfway inflated while the balloon in the foreground has enough propane that it is beginning to rise to the upright position.
Medium blue hot air balloon with white eyes and red tongue and a 3D nose.
This Belgium balloon is aptly titled Smurf. Not sure which Smurf it is though.
Two hot air balloons a little ways off the ground. Shot is taken through the lines of a balloon on the ground in the process of inflating.
Even though Day 1 Mass Ascension was canceled due to fog, these balloons were part of the Dawn Patrol to test the weather. The lines are from a balloon in the process of inflating.

Day 2

Yellow hot air balloon with a rainbow of colors against a blue sky. The American flag flies below the basket.
We started every day, following Dawn Patrol, with the National Anthem and a flag floating overhead from a balloon.
Hot air balloon shaped like a red fish. He has a bow tie, top hat and a cane.
Brazilian balloon, Mr. Fish, was one of my favorite. The next day, Mr. Fish would crash into some trees but, fortunately, no one was hurt. Mr. Fish was back on the launch field the next morning.
Blue sky will with hot air balloons.
Even the most perfect photo is nothing compared to seeing in person a sky filled with balloons, while more on the ground inflate.

Day 3

Hot air balloons (lots) rising over several RVs.
The great thing about staying near the launch field was on the days I didn’t want to get up at 4:30, I could sleep in until 6:30, Then I’d get up, make coffee and sit outside to watch Mass Ascension from my rig.
An hot air balloon shaped like a astronaut with orange suit and a white helmet. It is upright between two RVs.
Cosmos I hails from Fort Worth, Texas. As you can see, I was just a couple rows back from the edge of the launch field so had a perfect spot to see Cosmos I watching over the RVs.

Day 4

Light blue hot air balloon shaped like a little chicken, floating against a dark blue sky with two other regular shaped hot air balloons in back ground.
The shaped balloons were so much fun. I saw an interview from a pilot that said they are much harder to fly because they are often bigger and have to pay attention to all the 3-D parts.
From above, looking down at lots of people on green grass. Lots of balloons in the air.
Day 4 included my balloon ride. Such a different perspective looking down at the launch field compared to standing on it looking up.
A yellow and green hot air balloon skimming the surface of a river. Photo shows a little bit of the balloon and the full reflection in the water.
Watching another balloon do a “splash and dash” in the Rio Grand which isn’t too far from the launch field. I loved catching their reflection. This was taken moments before we did our own splash and dash.

Day 5

The feature imagine is of the Colorado balloon. There were actually two exactly like this. The pilots were different but both came from Broomfield, Colorado. The balloons were titled Colorado and Colorado Balloon.

Day 5 was Flight of Nations Mass Ascension which meant that two balloons from each of the 17 countries participating would launch with their nation’s flag. This was another day I stayed at the rig so only caught sight of Mexico and Russia’s flags.

White hot air balloon with red and green trim.
I posted the Russian one on Facebook, so here is the Mexican flag hanging from his basket. The balloon is called FIG Leon and it is from Mexico City.
Pink hot air balloon shaped as an elephant with googly eyes and a tiara.
Princess Nellie high in the sky.
Hot air balloons against a blue sky. A row of flags in the foreground.
At the end of the launch field is a row of flags. You can see there wasn’t much wind, making it a good day to launch. On the days the flags were flapping, Mass Ascension was cancelled.
Big hot air balloon shaped like a sitting dog. He's wearing blue overalls and an orange shirt as well as a black hat.
This cutie had a bone in his back pocket and a little tail. You can get a sense of how big it is by looking at the basket. Can you even see it? It’s the brown spot against his back right paw.

Day 6

Special Shapes Rodeo during Mass Ascension was held on both Day 6 and Day 7. Day 6 was also Kids’ Day where all kids under 12 received a gift bag.

Big sign for taking photos that is letters spelling out One Albuquerque. Behind that are a bunch of hot air balloons.
You can see all the shapes inflating. This one was taken from just off the launch field along the path with all the vendors. One Albuquerque is the motto of the city.

Day 7

Fireworks against a dark night sky. They are mostly red.
Five of the nine days included an amazing fireworks show. I loved this one but didn’t have the lighting figured out. You can barely see the outline of Quill (my trailer) in the bottom half of the shot.

Day 8

A skydiver with a white parachute against a blue sky. From his leg waves a giant American flag.
The evenings with fireworks were started off by a sky diving team jumping in the dark and shooting fireworks from devices strapped to their legs. A couple hours before that, the same sky diving team jumped with red, white and blue smoke as well as a 5,000 square foot American flag for the singing of the National Anthem.

Day 9

4 hot air balloons against a pale blue sky. The one in the foreground is yellow, orange and red. It has the name Krispy Kreme along with the photo of a doughnut on the balloon.
Krispy Kreme sponsored the Morning Glow each day. Plus they had a delicious looking balloon. It’s still early morning and the sun hasn’t risen over the horizon yet.
Seven hot air balloons against a blue sky with a Dunkin' Doughnuts coffee cup on a rail in the foreground.
When everyone has to get up so early, is it any wonder that not one, but two, doughnut companies sponsor the event? Dunkin’ Doughnuts provided coffee and doughnuts in the media tent every morning. Can you see that I’m above the launch field? This is taken from the media tower one flight above the ground.
Lots of hot air balloons in different states of inflation on a grass field with spectators. One yellow and orange balloon is in the light blue morning sky.
Lots of inflating balloons at the last Mass Ascension. So worth that alarm clock ringing at 4:30 a.m. Humpty Dumpty balloon is from Louisville, Kentucky.
Looking up at a yellow and orange hot air balloon flying overhead against a blue sky.
I just love the view looking straight up at a balloon flying overhead.
A paisley colored hot air balloon in the foreground and a predominately black balloon in the background. Both flying against a blue sky.
There were two Arizona balloons with fractals on them. I heard they were designed by the same guy. The balloon in the background had the solar system on it but I cannot remember its name.
Yellow hot air balloon flying against a blue sky The balloon is circled in colored hearts.
How can you not end a post of balloons with one that symbolizes how you felt for the nine days? I Heart Heart Heart the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.

Links to the Other Photo Essays:

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