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Volunteering at the Balloon Fiesta


The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is looking for upbeat, enthusiastic, caring people to join our team of Navigators!

Balloon Fiesta is large and complex, and we depend on over 900 volunteers to help before, during and after. These volunteers, called "Navigators," are critical to every area of operations. They provide guest services, balloon coordination and safety, set-up and logistics, and more in over 40 different areas. This variety of needs allows just about any person, with any skills, talents or interests, to experience Balloon Fiesta from a new perspective.

Some areas may have minimum shift and additional training requirements.

These are the areas where we currently need Navigators:

  • Balloon Discovery Center –  This is our hands-on area for kids (and adults) to learn about the sport and science of ballooning. There are lots of fun and exciting exhibits in this tent. Tasks involve explaining exhibits, helping kids with hands-on exhibits, managing the arts & crafts or game area, and greeting people at the entrance. Get excited about ballooning, and share your excitement!
  • Chase Crew Parking Lot Attendants – Balloon Fiesta needs Chase Crew Parking Lot Attendants. Tasks include the directing car parking in our north and south chase crew lots.
  • Front Desk/Gift Shop Help – Assist at our cash registers, in our store, and at our reception desk. Answer questions, direct visitors to the correct area, and assist receptionist with answering phones. Greatest need is on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Greeters – Join our team of Greeters! Also known as the Pink Flamingos, Balloon Fiesta Greeters welcome guests with warmth and enthusiasm. They greet the guests as they enter admission gates, hand out our "Survival Guide" maps, and answer questions, ensuring that guests have a wonderful first-impression of Fiesta!
  • Group Tours – Assist large bus groups with arrival at our Group Tours tent. Tasks include helping guide the buses when they park, greeting groups of people inside the tent, answering questions and some light foodservice.
  • Information Booths – Assist Balloon Fiesta guests with questions at 1 of our 3 booths, or be one of our a "mobile" Information Navigators roaming around the event, answering questions for people in the crowd. Meet people from around the world!
  • Music Fiesta – We need help at the 2014 Music Fiesta on Saturday, Oct. 11th. Tasks include set-up and ushering. Music Fiesta takes place balloon sessions, so Navigators can also work in other areas and still help with Music Fiesta.
  • Navigator Hospitality Tent –  This is brand new this year, offering Navigators a place to eat, rest, catch up on pertinent information, and for recruitment of new Navigators. Some light foodservice involved. With over 1,000 Navigators throughout Balloon Fiesta, you're bound to make friends from around the world!
  • Park & Ride – Balloon Fiesta Park & Ride volunteers assist people upon their arrival at Balloon Fiesta by offloading them from busses, and offering direction to the the launch field. Tasks also include assisting people into the correct lines when they leave.
  • Welcome Committee – The Balloon Fiesta Welcome Committee assists International Pilots upon their arrival into Albuquerque. In person, this may require helping them get to Chalmer’s Ford to pick up their vehicle. Other service includes helping them by phone if they have questions about local activities. Languages a plus.

Shift times vary from area to area. Below are the hours for event sessions. Shifts likely reflect these hours, beginning slightly before the session, and ending slighly afterward.
Saturday, Oct. 4 - A.M. Session (5:30 – 11 a.m.); P.M. Session (3:30 – 9:00 p.m.)
Sunday, Oct. 5 - A.M. Session (5:30 – 11 a.m.); P.M. Session (3:30 – 9:00 p.m.)
Monday, Oct. 6 - A.M. Session Only (5:30 – 11 a.m.)
Tuesday, Oct. 7 - A.M. Session Only (5:30 – 11 a.m.)
Wednesday, Oct. 8 - A.M. Session Only (5:30 – 11 a.m.)
Thursday, Oct. 9 - A.M. Session (5:30 – 11 a.m.); P.M. Session (3:30 – 9:00 p.m.)
Friday, Oct. 10 - A.M. Session (5:30 – 11 a.m.); P.M. Session (3:30 – 9:00 p.m.)
Saturday, Oct. 11 - A.M. Session (5:30 – 11 a.m.); P.M. Session (3:30 – 9:00 p.m.)
Sunday, Oct. 12 - A.M. Session Only (5:30 – 11 a.m.)


To register to be a Balloon Fiesta Navigator, please complete this form: NAVIGATOR REGISTRATION. If you have further questions about being a Navigator, contact Sandy Wylie, Event Coordinator, at (505) 821-1000, Ext. 109 or

Please be advised that the most secure way to submit your personal information is by using the online form submission above. However, if you are unable to access this form online, please print one of the following files:
Navigator Registration in .pdf format
Navigator Registration in Word format

Mail this form to: AIBF - Event Coordinator, 4401 Alameda Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113
Fax to (505) 828-2887
Email to

Please note that AIBF is unable to accept volunteers under the age of 13. Volunteers between the ages  of 13-18 must be accompanied by an adult.


Chase Crew

Chase Crew is a fun way to assist pilots in inflating, deflating and chasing their balloons. Click here for that application: Crew Registration. If you have questions about being part of a Chase Crew, contact Randy Myklebust, Pilot Coordinator, at (505) 821-1000, Ext. 104 or

Group Volunteers

Many non-profit groups are looking for ways to raise money for their organization. Balloon Fiesta has a number of areas that utilize this pool of labor, while a donation is made to the organization.

Some of those areas include:
Admissions, parking and fee-for-parking. If your group would like to help in one of these areas,
contact Elaine Nelson, Transportation Manager, at (505) 821-1000 or

Merchandise Sales. If your group would like to help in this area, contact Lisa Mulder, Merchandise Manager, at (505) 821-1000 or

For other group inquiries, contact Sandy Wylie, Event Coordinator, at (505) 821-1000, Ext. 109 or


We utilize volunteers in the all official positions - Launch Directors, Scoring, Weather, and Safety Officials, Land-Owner Relations, and more. Specific skills and experience is required for these positions. If you are interested in learning more, contact Sandy Wylie, Event Coordinator, at (505) 821-1000, Ext. 109 or


Many of our Navigators travel to Balloon Fiesta from outside New Mexico - a popular trend termed "Volun-Tourism." In fact, up to 30% of Balloon Fiesta Navigators hail from somewhere outside of New Mexico. If you will be visiting Albuquerque and the Balloon Fiesta for the first time, you may find this information to be helpful: Visiting Navigator Information.

Thank you for your interest!
Sandy Wylie, Event Coordinator
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Balloon Fiesta Park
(For GPS planning only)
5000 Balloon Fiesta Pkwy NE

Mailing address
4401 Alameda NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113

Local: (505) 821-1000

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