Past in Perspective

The balloons only have one life and the

only way of finding out whether they work

is to attempt to fly around the world.

–Richard Branson

Americana: Albuquerque International

Balloon Festival


The French brothers Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier developed a hot air balloon in France, and demonstrated it publicly on September 19, 1783, making an unmanned flight lasting 10 minutes.

Modern hot air balloons, with an onboard heat source, were developed by Ed Yost; beginning during the 1950s; his work resulted in his first successful flight, on October 22, 1960. Today air balloons festivals are held everywhere. Festivals are arranged where people take flight of air balloons. One of the most famous air balloon festivals today is the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

From a small gathering of 13 balloons in 1972, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has grown to become the largest balloon event in the world. The festival is held in the first week of October and attracts almost 600 balloons and 1000 pilots.

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