Darth Vader and Master Yoda Balloons invade the sky for 2018 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

in Events, Star Wars, Travel

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2018

As the cool crispness of fall fills the air, the sky above Albuquerque, New Mexico is invaded not by the Death Star but by the aviation marvel of hot air balloons on a mass scale. Held each year during the first week of October, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a true sight to behold. For 9 straight days, you can enjoy the kaleidoscope of colors in the sky – weather permitting of course! This year’s theme of “Carry Me Away” marks the 47th anniversary of the event.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2018
Balloons fill the sky with mass ascension: Photo by Ron Tommer
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2018
Mass Ascension: Photo by Ron Tommer

From a small gathering of 13 balloons, Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has grown to become the largest ballooning event in the world. In order to accommodate the growing popularity of the event, Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has moved from its first home of a small shopping mall parking lot to its present home of more than 350 acres. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta attracts more than 600 balloons and 1,000 pilots from all over the world. 2018’s event has pilots from 16 different countries.

Two crowd favorites come not from a galaxy far, far, away but from Court-Saint-Etienne, Belgium. Pilot Benoit Lambert has been flying the infamous Darth Vader Balloon since 2007. The Master Yoda Balloon flown by pilot Michel Lambert premiered at the 2014 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to bring balance to the sky.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2018
Photo courtesy of Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2018
Photo courtesy of Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Along with the mass ascension, the event also has a number of unique events to enjoy as well. Some guest favorites include a Special Shape Rodeo, evening Balloon Glows and AfterGlow Fireworks Show.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2018

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2018

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2018
Special Shapes: Photos by Ron Tommer
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2018
Evening Balloon Glow: Photo by Ron Tommer
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2018
AfterGlow Fireworks Show: Photo by Ron Tommer

In order to remember the magic of this breathtaking event, it is estimated that more than 25 million photographs are taken of Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. This has repeatedly earned it the title “The World’s Most Photographed Event.” Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is without a doubt an item everyone should be adding to their bucket list. As hundreds of balloons of all shapes and sizes fill the skies, everyone will be in awe of the pure magic of the event. With 14 different sessions (9 morning sessions and 5 evening sessions), there are plenty of opportunities to capture that perfect photo as you walk amongst the balloons and watch as they lift off.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2018
Mass Ascension: Photo by Ron Tommer
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2018
Early Morning Dawn Patrol: Photo by Ron Tommer
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2018
Dawn Patrol: Photo by Ron Tommer
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2018
Morning Prep: Photo by Ron Tommer
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2018
Balloon Starting to Inflate: Photo by Ron Tommer
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2018
Mass Ascension: Photo by Ron Tommer

While I have been to Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta numerous times throughout my life, I still watch in awestruck wonder at the beauty of this amazing event. If you are ever in the Albuquerque area the first week of October, make sure to check out Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. With a little bit of planning and patience, you too can be amazed by this spectacular event.

For more information, head over to the event website.

Source:  Albuquerque Internation Balloon Fiesta and Darth Vader Balloon

3 Comments

  1. Ron

    Great article. Can’t wait to read more.

  2. Vanessa

    They were also featured at the Reno Balloon Race in September.

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