Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Oooh Balloons!!

For those of you that don't know much about Albuquerque, NM, here is something that we are definitely known for, and something everybody should come see at least once in their life! I'm talking about the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta!! The Fiesta brings balloonists from all over the world to take part in the WORLD'S biggest and most popular balloon fiesta! The biggest event that we boast during this week long event are our Mass Ascensions. These take place every morning where, I kid you not, hundreds and hundreds of balloons gather early, early in the morning, inflate, and take off from the balloon fiesta park, giving the most spectacular view you will ever see. This year, Albuquerque had it's largest turn out EVER with over 800,000 people visiting the park during the entire week!! And it's no wonder why! As you're walking through the rows and rows and more rows of balloons that are filling up with air, you can't help but get wrapped up in the excitement. The first noise that everyone hears out on the park is the sound of the fans. As the fans blow air into the once flat balloons, your suddenly aroused by the site of these massive balloons actually coming to life! Once the balloons are filled up with enough air, the fun begins. The roar of burners fill the air and the comforting heat, bursting off of each gondola warms your body, as the amazing sight of the balloons is what warms your soul. Suddenly out of no where whistles begin to blow! And as any balloon fiesta regular knows, it can only mean one thing...Zebras! No, not real zebras silly...balloon fiesta zebras! Zebras are responsible for clearing the path for the balloons to take of from the field safely. So, there kind of like referees but they take their outfits to the extreme, whether it's hats with zebras, zebra leggings, zebra face painting, I've seen it all! The most amazing part of the balloon fiesta is that as the first rows of balloons take of, the virgin balloon fiesta go-er would think that that's it...but oh no!! You would be way wrong! As one row clears, another round of balloons lay out on the filed and begin to inflate, allowing us to see about 300 balloons in the air!! And I'm not talking just regular 'ole balloons, well we do have those. But then you have the Special Shapes, and these are the coolest balloons! They range from the Creamland Cow, known as Arabelle, the Wells Fargo Stage Coach, Flying Pigs, Darth Vader, Flying Bees, The Colosseum, A Giant Tree, Witches, Pumpkins, Owls, a Stork, Turtles, Elephants, Beer mugs, Champagne bottles, the American Flag, a Space Shuttle and sooo much more!!

The other cool event that the balloon fiesta has, and is the second most popular event is the Glow-deo. And this is when all the special shape balloons come out to the park just before sunset and have, what we call a Balloon Glow. You see while the sun is setting the balloon fill up, and tons of people pour on to the field. And as the sun goes down, it of course gets dark outside, and this is when the magic happens. The burners from the balloons ignite, and make the balloons "glow", hence the name balloon glow. If your breath has never been takin away, please, please, please come to see a balloon glow and you will be absolutely breathless. I have been going to balloon glows since I was a baby, and the sight of all of these balloon glows in the brinks of sunset still bring tears to my eyes. It is a feeling, a sight an experience that words cannot do justice for. The balloons of course "glow" on their own, whenever the pilot needs to fill the balloon with hot air, but the pilots also participate in All Burns. All Burns are counted down from ten-nine-eight-seven...and when the announcer gets to one he says ALL BURN!! And EVERY single balloon out on that field pulls their burner and you are surrounded by dozens of balloons glowing all at once! And that is when you will be left totally breathless, speechless and in total awe!

1 comment:

Peabody said...

What a cool event. I like the cow balloon.