ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Eighteen new special shape balloons, along with 73 expected returning favorites will delight visitors at the 2010 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta taking place October 2nd through October 10th. These special shape balloons filled with equal parts of hot air and wonder are a favorite of young and old alike as the whimsical shapes take flight above the city.
Many balloons are scheduled to appear this year, including some of the newest – The Stork, Waddles, Three Monkeys, Crazy Crab, and Zebra. . Chic-i-Boom, Gus T. Guppie, Darth Vader, Yellow Jacket and Bud E. Beaver are some of the returning favorites along with Lilly, the Little Bee Girl and Joey, the Little Bee Boy, Cent’r Stage, Uncle Sam, Smokey Bear, La Ristra, and Airabelle, the flying cow.
The special shapes have had a strong following since their arrival at the Balloon Fiesta in 1989. 28 shapes participated in the first event, 35 shapes in 1990, 45 in 1991, 62 from eight countries in 1992, and 108 in 1996, the largest ever Special Shape Rodeo.
Some of the many highlights of Balloon Fiesta occur during the Special Shape Rodeo including Mass Ascensions and the Glowdeos. These two popular events attract tens of thousands of children and adults every year. Special shape balloons have gained a loyal following since their arrival at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in 1989. The special shape balloons participate in other Balloon Fiesta events, but are showcased in two Special Shape Mass Ascensions, a Special Shape Rodeo, and the Special Shape Glowdeo.
While special shapes fly throughout the Balloon Fiesta, the following events feature only special shape balloons:
Thursday, October 7th, at 7:00 a.m. –Special Shape Mass Ascension
Thursday, October 7th, at 5:45 p.m. –Special Shape Glowdeo
Friday, October 8th, at 7:00 a.m. –Special Shape Mass Ascension
Friday, October 8th at 5:45 p.m. –Special Shape Glowdeo
Special shape balloons are an example of a combination of complex design skill in their production, and adept flying skills of the pilot. Special Shapes are more difficult to fly than standard hot air balloons. They require more manpower to launch, and seasoned pilots in flying these unique hot air balloon sculptures.
The After Glow fireworks show presented by the Albuquerque Journal will immediately follow the Special Shape Glowdeos at 8:00 p.m.
All special shape events take place at Balloon Fiesta Park and are held weather permitting.