S ® WELCOME TO BALLOON FIE TA For nine days in October the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, creates an enchanted world of special shape balloon rodeos, twilight balloon glows, and vibrant balloon-filled skies. Brisk autumnal mornings in the Rio Grande Valley create an otherworldly backdrop for the breathtaking majesty of our most popular event, Mass Ascension. The experience of watching hundreds of gentle airy giants take flight is at once humbling and inspiring. It’s the allure of these magical moments and more that have continued to bring ballooning fans worldwide together for more than 50 years. As the COVID-19 situation continues to improve, the requirement for masking and distancing is constantly chang- ing. Please check with the New Mexico Department of Health at www.nmhealth.org or go to the New Mexico state website at www.newmexico.org for all the most recent updates and changes to COVID policies for the state. S OUR GEOGRAPHY MAKE IT BALLOONING CENTRAL Autumn is one of the most enjoyable times of year in New Mexico. This peaceful prelude to winter means that brisk mornings give way to warm afternoons, with mild temperatures throughout the day and typically gentle winds. This ideal weather combined with its diverse altitudes and geography, makes Albuquerque an ideal location for ballooning at this time of year. The lower altitude of the river valley to the west, higher altitude of the mountain range to the east and the prevailing winds aloft create the legendary “Albuquerque Box,” in which gentle winds blow in a box pattern, sometimes leading balloons right back to where they started. This natural phenomenon makes Albuquerque home to some of the best ballooning in the world.

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