ABQ - “Special Shapes”
The venue in ABQ offers many unique opportunities for any hot-air balloon enthusiast. First and foremost is the weather, in particular, the winds. In the Fall the unique “Albuquerque Box” takes center stage. This weather pattern keeps the balloons within a specific area which is ideal for the balloonists! Another draw for ABQ is the sheer volume. Some time ago I was invited to see the balloons in NY. When I heard there would be about 75, I yawned, “Ho, hum. . .” In 2003 ABQ played host to over SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY balloons! And, you are allowed on the field as they are inflating. What a sight! As you watch a half-dozen ascend, there is another twenty or thirty behind them waiting their turn to set off! Soon the morning sky is littered with hundreds of colorful floating shapes! I saved the best reason last, the Special Shapes! Being the “Grandaddy of Ballon Festivals, ” pilots fro all over the world wrap up their ballots and gondolas of special shapes to be part of the festivities. Here you may see Noah’s Ark (“Arky”), or Darth Vader’s helmet, vehicles of all kind, and much more. Typically, about seventy-five of these masterpieces will be in attendance!
© Joe Kennedy Photography