Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

access our new mexico itineraryIf you’ve never attended the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, you are missing out on the experience of a lifetime! Known as the world’s largest hot-air balloon festival, this spectacular nine-day event features more than 500 colorful balloons and fun for all ages. In 2020, the festival is expected to be bigger and better than ever before. Mark your calendar for October 3 – 11 and start making plans to attend now!

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is just one of the amazing events you can attend before or after your stay at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch. If you’re looking for more recommendations about things to see and do, make sure to request your customized New Mexico itinerary.

About the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

For nine days in October, visitors from around the globe descend on Balloon Fiesta Park to watch the New Mexico skies fill with hundreds of balloons. Before the sun rises, the Dawn Patrol takes to the sky to check out conditions. Then it is time for the Mass Ascension. There is nothing quite like observing the daily Mass Ascension as the sun brightens the horizon on crisp October mornings. When the balloons rise to dot the clear desert skies, it is truly a sight to behold. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2018

Special Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta events take place each day. Balloons of all shapes and sizes also add a unique spin to the spectacle. In the evening, these fun balloons are illuminated during the Balloon Glow and the Night Magic Glow. In addition to the hot-air balloon events, there is a wide range of entertainment, live music, food concessions, and more. 

One of the most unique aspects of the Balloon Fiesta is that you can walk the field and be a part of the action. The safety record of the event is unparalleled. This is one of the only events where you are actually able to walk among the balloons and talk to the pilots. If you’re brave enough, you can even join them in the clouds! Rainbow Ryders offers hot-air balloon rides during the festival for those who are looking to experience the ultimate sky-high adventure. 

Highlights of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2020 

The 2020 hot-air balloon extravaganza kicks off on October 3rd and runs through the 11th. Here are just a few highlights of the festival:

Mass Ascension:

All participating balloons begin to launch around 7 a.m. during Mass Ascension days. This wondrous phenomenon is held almost every day of the festival, so make sure to arrive early and find a spot to watch. 

Flight of Nations:

The Flight of Nations is one of the most beloved traditions of the Fiesta. During the ceremony, flags from all the participating countries are proudly displayed in honor of international pilots. This year’s Flight of Nations will be on Wednesday, December 7th at 7 a.m.

Balloon Glows:

The festival features almost daily Balloon Glows, a beautiful display where floating balloons are lit from within. It’s a magical sight to see them light up the sky!

AfterGlow Fireworks Show:

After the Balloon Glow, there is typically a dazzling fireworks display to cap off the evening. 

Music Fiesta:

While the balloons are the major draw, you can also see some of the world’s best musicians play at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Past performers include A-list stars like Old Dominion, the Marshall Tucker Band, Darius Rucker, The Band Perry, Chris Young, 3 Dog Night, Michael Ray, Little Texas, Josh Turner, Sawyer Brown, and Billy Currington, among others. This year, the lineup promises to be amazing as well. Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 10th, and get ready for an amazing show at Music Fiesta! 

Competition Balloon Flying:

Have you ever seen a hot-air balloon competition? Now’s your chance! Watch as pilots expertly navigate their balloons in this precision flying event.

Special Shape Rodeo:

Whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart, you’ll love seeing the Special Shape Rodeo. Watch as some of the most unique balloons you will ever see take off into the sky. From movie characters and animals to spaceships and more, you’ll spot many interesting shapes.

Book Your Stay at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2017 Are you planning a trip to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta? If so, consider adding on a stay at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch during your trip. We are located approximately 4 hours south of Albuquerque and still have availability around the time of the 2020 festival. Tucked away in the heart of the Gila National Forest, our dude ranch is the ideal choice for an unforgettable getaway! During your stay, you can experience horseback riding, hiking, fishing, campfires, s’mores, line dancing and more. After a fun-filled day of adventure, come kick back and relax in your comfortable cabin. Three delicious, homestyle meals are included each day of your stay!

Mid to late October is the peak of fall colors at the ranch with golden cottonwoods, red sage, and yellow Gamble oak brightening the hills and canyons! It is also elk season and you can often hear elk bugling their mating call at dawn and dusk. Let our horses and experienced wranglers guide you into the beautiful Gila National Forest. Ride through deep canyons, across crystal clear streams and atop mountain overlooks where you can gaze upon the brilliant fall colors and vast 3.3 million acre National Forest. Are you ready to experience the Western getaway of a lifetime? Contact us today to book your trip to Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch and fulfill your New Mexico dream vacation!