During my job search for a contract position, I ended up in Albuquerque, New Mexico just before the start of the annual hot-air balloon festival in October, 2001.

History of the Balloon Fiesta

~ 30 YEARS • 1972 - 2001 ~

From a small gathering of 13 balloons in 1972, the Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has grown to become hands-down the largest balloon event in the world. Held each year during the first week in October, the Balloon Fiesta hundreds of balloons and over 1,000 pilots.

Today the Balloon Fiesta includes such special events as the weekend and Wednesday mass ascensions, Balloon Glow, Night Magic Glow, and the Special Shape Rodeo and Special Shape Glowdeo™ where more than 100 uniquely shaped balloons participate.

In 1992, the name Kodak was added to Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, reflecting the fact that this had become the world's most photographed event. the Balloon Fiesta has literally changed the face of the ballooning sport, each year showing new pilots and owners what thrilling and safe experience ballooning can be. Drawing entries from more than 28 different countries, the Balloon Fiesta has truly become international in stature.

Media coverage originates from more than 50 nations, with live satellite broadcast to Japan and television documentaries prepared by Great Britain, West Germany, the Netherlands and France. In 1995, a one-hour special on the Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta aired on ESPN's "Great America's Events". "Great American Events" is a series that profiles unusual and challenging events. The Balloon Fiesta was one in a series of one-hour programs for national and worldwide distribution. The Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta was also featured in a one hour special on the Travel Channel.

Photos from Day 1 (October 6) morning.

Photos from Day 6 (October 11) morning.

Photos from Day 7 (October 12) evening - "Glowdeo"