Save The Date

Join us October 7-15, 2023, for the 51st Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta powered by ExxonMobil in Albuquerque, New Mexico. More information will become available at in the coming weeks. Plan ahead - The 52nd Balloon Fiesta is scheduled to take place October 5-13, 2024.

Balloon Fiesta Insider

We are less than 60 days away from the 51st Balloon Fiesta!

In addition to our 550 hot air balloons, we will also be hosting the world’s premier balloon racing event, the 66th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett 2023.  It will launch the afternoon/evening of Saturday, October 7th.  There are 17 teams, representing eight countries (USA, UK, Spain, Poland, Lithuania, Germany, France, Austria). Learn more about the event by visiting the Balloon Fiesta website:


As you finalize your plans, here are some ways to get to the event:

  • Park & Ride – Park & Ride is a great way to bypass heavy Balloon Fiesta traffic. Included is, round-trip transportation to and from Balloon Fiesta Park and admission to the event. Tickets must be purchased online, in advance. Foldable strollers are allowed. 
  • Drive – Many guests choose to Balloon Fiesta Park. There are several parking lots on-site, though note that spaces are limited. Parking is $20 per session, per car and traffic will be directed by Balloon Fiesta’s partner agencies, as guests near the park. Here is a map:
  • Ride your bike – Another great way to beat the traffic is to ride your bike to Balloon Fiesta! And, take advantage of Balloon fiesta’s Bike Valet, located south of the launch field. We have more than doubled our bike valet area to accommodate the growing popularity. More information, can be found, here:
  • Rideshare – Uber and Lyft drivers can take guests to and from Balloon Fiesta Park. The pickup location is at the southeast end of Balloon Fiesta Park. 

Wondering which balloons will be at this year’s event? Follow @BalloonFiesta on Facebook and Twitter. Each day, we’re sharing the pilots and balloons that will be in attendance at this year’s Balloon Fiesta. Special Shape Sundays feature the fun characters and shapes that you can expect to see. 

Merchandise Update

The 2023 Official Balloon Fiesta poster has arrived! This year’s stunning artwork was created by internationally recognized, American painter and printmaker, Kevin A. Short, and depicts a scene of balloons floating over Albuquerque with the sun shining through. The piece is a collector’s item and a great way to bring joy to any room while decorating with a piece of Balloon Fiesta. To purchase yours, visit Balloon Fiesta’s Gift Shop, located at 4401 Alameda Blvd NE, Albuquerque NM or go online to This poster will be available for purchase at the 51st Balloon Fiesta from Balloon Fiesta Official Merchandise Tents.

Faces of Fiesta

Name: Tracey Hawkins

Title: Navigator Manager/Balloon Discovery Center

Years with Balloon Fiesta: 2  


The Navigator Manager position oversees around 1,100 volunteers. These volunteers are called, Navigators. There are 45 teams that the Navigators assist during Balloon Fiesta. The event would not be possible without the dedication and hard work of these individuals. The Balloon Discovery Center is at the north end of the field and is a hands-on learning center dedicated to experiences focused on ballooning. Tracey was introduced to ballooning as a youngster. She has crewed for numerous balloons over her lifetime. She has always had a love of ballooning! She retired from APS in 2021, and four weeks later, started working for Balloon Fiesta. Tracey is married, has two wonderful daughters, and four dogs! She enjoys listening to music, hanging out with family, friends and her pups, and playing/watching any sport.  


Rapid fire with Tracey:


Time your day starts during Balloon Fiesta: 3:00 a.m.

Favorite spot on the field to watch the balloons: On the west side of the field


Current favorite special shape balloon: Speedy (the Roadrunner balloon) 

Inside the Basket

Kevin Short is the 2023 Balloon Fiesta poster artist.

In this month’s Inside the Basket, he shares some of his unique ties to the event, a ballooning record that he holds himself and more about this year’s piece. 

August in Ballooning

On August 18, 1984, Nick Saum set the altitude world record for AM-07 type balloons, in a balloon that he designed and built. He flew to a height of 3,372.6 meters before landing. This record is no longer standing. 

August Photo-of-the-Month

We have received some beautiful pictures of past years’ events, submitted through Balloon Fiesta’s social media! Below is the photo chosen for August. Thank you to Facebook user Brandon Harris!

Do you have a Balloon Fiesta photo that you’re proud of? 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!

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Sponsor Spotlights

Chick-fil-A is a Quick Service Restaurant specializing in serving delicious chicken with a smile. And, the 51st Balloon Fiesta will mark the third year that their team has been a sponsor of the event. The previous two years, their sponsorship was through their hot air balloon, Chicklet. This year, they’ve expanded their sponsorship to include an event booth, their balloon and being the Official Sponsor of Kids Day on Friday, October 13, in which they will be providing food, swag and backpacks filled with goodies to kids. This sponsorship allows their team to align efforts with their corporate purpose, to grow and support their local community, interact with guests from around the world and be a part of Balloon Fiesta’s magic. We thank them for their continued support!

New Mexico Bank & Trust, a division of HTLF Bank, is a community bank that specializes in business and personal lending and deposit services, with 21 offices located in Central, Northern and Eastern New Mexico. The 51st event marks their team’s first year as a Balloon Fiesta sponsor and as the Official Bank Sponsor of Balloon Fiesta. This sponsorship provides their team the opportunity to support New Mexico’s flagship event, extend their outreach to the community, and live out their mission to enrich lives of one customer, employee, and community at a time. We thank them for their support!

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

 Official e-newsletter of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, powered by ExxonMobil.