For more than four decades, the first week in October means the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Guests from all over the world come to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to celebrate ballooning.
It is known as the largest event of its kind in the world. About 880,000 of spectators, pilots, and their crews come to participate. The park is settled west of I-25, about 12 miles (19 km) north of the Albuquerque International Sunport airport and 7 miles (11 km) north of downtown Albuquerque. Hundreds of balloons will be taking flight from the Balloon Fiesta Park this year between October 5 – October 13. The Fiesta features several events and competitions, like The Fiesta Challenge, America's Challenge Gas Balloon Race, The Flight of the Nations Mass Ascension, along with other skill and speed competitions.
The sunrise Mass Ascension is one of the most breathtaking sights in the world with hundreds of hot air balloons launching simultaneously into the skies. Some accidents occured until now this year. Two people, the pilot and passenger - both women - were thrown from the gondola when it landed and sustained minor injuries on Monday after a hot air balloon struck a power line, igniting a fire when the gondola made a hard landing on the outskirts of Rio Rancho. In another incident, a balloon called "Mr. Fish'' hit a tree.