The Special Shape Rodeo started in 1989 and now has become the most popular event at the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta®. Since the Balloon Fiesta started the Special Shape Rodeo in 1989, many events around the world have now added some kind of special shape event to their program.
The first Special Shape Rodeo balloons launched on Thursday and Friday afternoon, and were lucky enough to fly both days. This event was such a success that it created major traffic jams and produced huge crowds. Twenty-eight shapes participated in the first event and the Special Shape Rodeo was on solid ground. The Shape Rodeo grew each year with 35 shapes in 1990, 45 shapes in 1991, 62 shapes from eight countries in 1992 and a whopping 108 in 1996, the largest Special Shape Rodeo.
In 1993 the Special Shape Rodeo added a third flight that would take place Thursday morning and by 1998, Special Shapes were so popular that they were the only balloons to launch from the field on Thursday and Friday mornings and glow from the field on the same evenings– totaling four events dedicated strictly to Special Shapes. The shapes glow has come to be called the Special Shape Glowdeo™.