A good friend of mine drove to New Mexico last week for the Balloon Fiesta. He's from that neck of the woods, and has been attending this event since it's beginnings in the 1970s.
I'm happy that he is sharing his terrific photos with us!
According to their website, the Fiesta attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every years during the first week in October.
The Fiesta is now a nine-day extravaganza of color and excitement, celebrating the world's oldest aviation sport.
It was the Montgolfier brothers who invented a style of hot-air balloon and succeeded in launching the first manned balloon ascent in modern history at Annonay, France, in 1783. Their first attempts at ballooning sent a sheep, a duck and a rooster into the air. Ah! the French... what can I say? Eh, Bien! They probably figured if things went badly, they'd have a really great dinner later...
Thankfully, the odd trio landed safely after covering about 2 miles in the air.
Etienne Montgolfier was the first human to lift off the earth in a balloon, making a small, tethered flight from wallpaper manufacturer Jean-Baptiste Reveillon's workshop yard. However, the first free flight by humans was made by Pilatre de Rozier, together with an army officer, later that same day close to the Bois de Boulogne in the outskirts of Paris.
These early flights made quite a sensation!
It's amazing to think that less than 200 years later, man would walk on the moon...
As you can see, the Fiesta is a very beautiful, sometimes silly, and highly colorful event...
... attended by LOTS of people.
The Albuquerque event features not only hot air balloons, but also gas balloons.
Here's a famous gas bag... er balloon:
|P-H-R-O-G! He's got rhythm and a Ph.D.|
Remember that song?
For more information about this event, visit their website at: http://www.balloonfiesta.com/