Save The Date

Join us October 5-13, 2024 for the 52nd Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta powered by ExxonMobil in Albuquerque, New Mexico. More information available at

Balloon Fiesta Insider

Being a guest and flying in a balloon aren’t the only ways to be a part of Balloon Fiesta! You can also be a Navigator (volunteer) or a Zebra (launch director)! Registration for the 2024 Balloon Fiesta is open until August 2024.


  • Navigators (volunteers): Our amazing volunteers, also known as “Navigators” are essential to Balloon Fiesta’s success. Navigators help before, during, and after the event and are critical to the event's success in every area of operations, providing guest services, administrative services, balloon coordination, safety, set-up, and logistics. With 45 different teams, there is a fit for all skill levels and interests. To learn more about the Volunteer positions for the 2024 Balloon Fiesta, visit our website here.
  • Zebras (launch directors): If you’ve ever been to Balloon Fiesta, you surely spotted a launch director on the launch field. Also known as “Zebras” for their black and white outfits and flair, the launch directors help pilots launch their balloons safely and efficiently. To learn more about becoming a launch director and to apply, visit this page on our website.

Interested in volunteering for Balloon Fiesta, but still have some questions? We have the answers! Visit our website

Merchandise Update

This month, it’s out with the old and in with the new, merchandise that is! Nearly everything with the 2023 date is now on sale for up to 75% off. That includes jackets, hats, T-shirts, bags, tiles, keychains, magnets, and a lot more. Additionally, every order of more than $10.00 receives a free gift, while supplies last. That’s in honor of Balloon Fiesta’s 52nd birthday which occurred April 8.


2024 merchandise is starting to arrive, and we are excited to announce keychains and magnets are now available in the Official Merchandise Shop! There are 4 different styles of keychains and 5 different magnets. Some feature the year, 2024, others feature the Embrace the Sky theme and some even have both. Collect the set of keychains to easily identify your house keys, and your car keys, and collect the set of magnets to adorn your refrigerator.


You’ll want the entire collection and a few spares to keep on hand for those last-minute gifts! Be sure to visit our online merchandise shop or visit our gift shop in Albuquerque to grab them all!

To be the first to know about new items, sales, and other Balloon Fiesta Stuff, make sure you are subscribed to What’s Up Wednesday.

Faces of Fiesta

Name: Miranda Portillo

Title: Pilot Coordinator

Years with Balloon Fiesta: I joined the Balloon Fiesta team in March 2024. I'm incredibly thrilled to be part of a company that brings joy to people's lives, particularly in the enchanting realm of organizing the Balloon Fiesta. My earliest memories of the fiesta date back to when I was just five years old. Year after year, my family and I eagerly attended, creating cherished traditions. My fondest recollections include waking up at dawn, savoring delicious hot cocoa and green chile burritos, wrapped in cozy blankets, as we admired the display of colorful balloons filling the sky. The magic of the Fiesta never fades, and to this day, it remains a cherished annual tradition that I look forward to.

Overview/Bio: I was born and raised in the vibrant city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I have a degree in Pre Health-Sciences and am continuing my education in business. Family means everything to me, and I cherish every moment spent with my loved ones, including my two adorable English Bulldogs. Whether we're embarking on outdoor adventures like hiking or snowboarding, or simply enjoying each other's company at home, these all bring me joy. I’m an adventurous soul at heart, I love to travel and am always eager to explore new places and embrace the beauty of different cultures and atmospheres. When I'm not out enjoying the great outdoors, you'll often find me indulging my creative side with DIY projects. From renovating rooms to trying my hand at woodworking, I love the sense of accomplishment that comes with bringing new ideas to life. My professional journey has been diverse, spanning from healthcare to business. Now, as a pilot coordinator, I connect with pilots worldwide. My role involves ensuring smooth operations and building strong relationships. From managing schedules to upholding safety standards, I navigate the aviation world with passion and dedication. It's a fulfilling role that combines my love for adventure with supporting a community of passionate professionals.

Rapid fire with Miranda:

Start time during Balloon Fiesta: My day during the event starts at 3:00 a.m. My role during Balloon Fiesta involves ensuring smooth operations and building strong relationships with all pilots attending Balloon Fiesta.


Favorite spot on the field to watch the balloons: I don’t have a favorite spot to watch the balloons because no matter where you go you have an amazing view. You can look up from every point on the field and enjoy the display of colorful balloons filling the sky.

Current favorite special shape balloon: Although I can appreciate the beauty and detail that goes into all balloons, my favorite balloons are Buster and Bella, the Bulldogs. These are my favorite balloons because I am obsessed with English bulldogs and have two English bulldogs named Archie and Rumble of my own that I adore. Whenever I see these balloons, it never fails to put a smile on my face.

Inside the Basket

Lonnie Carreathers is the pilot of Spectrum and chief pilot of the Elevated 4x4 Balloon Team. Lonnie has been attending the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta since 2001.


In this month’s Inside the Basket, Lonnie shares more about his ballooning story and what he is looking forward to most at the 2024 event.

April in Ballooning

On April 8, 2024 Balloon Fiesta celebrated a major milestone! This day marked 52 years from the first Balloon Fiesta, a gathering of 13 hot air balloons that celebrated KOB Radio’s 50th Anniversary in 1972. Now, as we look ahead to October, we’re eager to celebrate the 52nd event, with each and every one of you! Learn more about Balloon Fiesta’s history, here:

April Photo-of-the-Month

We have received some beautiful pictures of the 51st event, submitted through the Cindy Petrehn Memorial Photo Contest! Below is the Special Shape Rodeo Category Second Place Winner, George Ribirch.

Do you have a Balloon Fiesta photo of which you’re proud? Share your favorite Balloon Fiesta image on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and tag our page for a chance to be featured in next month’s newsletter!

Read all about it

Check out the latest media coverage about Balloon Fiesta

Sponsor Spotlight

Netflix is one of the world’s leading entertainment services, with over 260 million paid memberships in over 190 countries, enjoying TV series, films, and games across various genres and languages. Members can play, pause, and resume watching as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, and change their plans anytime. Netflix has been a sponsor of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta since 2022. This year Netflix is the Official 2024 Basket Banner Sponsor. Netflix is thrilled to support local tourism in New Mexico, as Balloon Fiesta brings communities worldwide together to experience the incredible culture and traditions of the Land of Enchantment. This is why Netflix created Netflix in Your Neighborhood to bring the excitement for our titles, filmed locally, beyond the screen and into the community. They hope fans visiting the Balloon Fiesta will be encouraged to further explore New Mexico by discovering over 100 amazing filming locations and cultural sites featured in classics like Stranger Things, Army of the Dead, and El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. Netflix’s favorite part of being involved with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta event is having the opportunity to connect with the local creative community. They love giving back to the community and participating in an event unique to New Mexico. We thank them for their support.

For a complete list of Balloon Fiesta sponsors, click here.

Find Us Online
Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest  Youtube  Instagram  
 Official e-newsletter of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, powered by ExxonMobil.