October 7, 2012

White Dog hopped up on the bed and announced, "it is that time of the year again!" It was just dawn but all of the White Dogs were awake and restless. The 2012 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is underway!

It is the largest gathering of hot air balloons in the world and has grown from 13 balloons at its inception in 1972 to over 600 balloons today. It is the most photographed event on earth. Held at Balloon Fiesta Park, the size of 54 football fields, the inflated balloons form a colorful phalanx rising taller than a house and during the morning mass ascensions which take place at dawn when the winds of Albuquerque's famous box are most favorable, 500+ balloons take off within two hours, an incredible sight both at the Field and all over our landscape as the shapes skate across our brightening blue morning skies.

While all of the WDA loves going up to the foothills to watch the scene, here in town and close to the balloons is painful for their ears. The sounds made by the propane-fueled heaters that cause lift in the balloons are beyond the human range of hearing but not for the pups...everyone who lives in town knows and expects the predawn howls and barks of irritation that greet us for these next 14 days.

But it IS without question an amazing Event and one we would like to share with some photos, past and present of Albuquerque's most special celebration...to see more visit the official website at http://www.balloonfiesta.com
Dawn Patrol goes up first in the dark to check wind and weather conditions. They give the official OK whether balloons will launch or not. This is an early morning sport fueled by hot coffee and breakfast burritos (and sometimes even mittens...the early morning desert is cold)!
Mass ascension never ceases to fill the heart with happiness as the sky becomes filled with hundreds of bright balloons.
Balloons spread out all over the valley some following the course of the Rio Grande.
Special shapes balloons are an annual crowd pleaser.
At twilight the crowds gather again (the morning flights are over by 9am and the winds are not right the rest of the day) for Glowdeo when the anchored balloons fire their flames in sync to music and the entire field becomes one amazing work of light and music.


Kari in Vegas said...

We have a balloon festival in the town I grew up in and loved it.

Stop on by for a visit

Noodles said...

I had no idea how marvelous the hot air balloon fiesta was!! Thanks for the wonderful and colorful post.
Love Noodles

Sagira said...

That is just beautiful. We have a balloon festival here in our town but not that many balloons.

Hey...guess who was here yesterday. Luke an his pups. They were at Fido Fest promoting the 2MD walk here in Columbus but we were not able to attend b/c Sagira had a trial.

rottrover said...

Glowdeo must be amazing!

GOOSE said...

That is just beautiful!!! We have a balloon fest here but it is oh so much smaller. But still cool.

Suka said...

hey WDA,

That looks amazing! I would love to go up in one of those. But thanks for the info on the sound hurting dogs ears. I never knew that - good to know! I can imagine how spectacular is must be to see this. The photos are beautiful but they never do justice to the real thing.

Thank you for sharing!

Suka and K

Jo's World said...

whoooo! How I would love to see this! Sorry it hurts your puppy ears, can you use plugs or ???

One summer Saturday I looked out my kitchen window and saw ONE balloon floating across the sky and just flipped. It was so pretty. Just an odd and rare thing to see here.

Hope you are all well, you pups and peeps!
Jo, Stella and Zkhat

Nola said...

That is so cool!

meowmeowmans said...

Oh my gosh! That is SO cool! What a sight to behold, but we're sorry the sound of the heaters hurt the ears of the doggies. :(

P.S. - is something wrong with your header photo? All I see is a black background and a white triangle with an exclamation point...