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Raton International Balloon Rally

Raton International Balloon Rally

4th of July Weekend

Each year, Raton plays host to 15+ pilots and their balloons. Our balloon rally gives attendees an up close and personal experience due to small crowds and friendly pilots. This event is one your whole family is sure to enjoy!

The rally begins each morning at 6:00 a.m. at the old La Mesa Airfield on York Canyon Rd, Highway 555, a half-mile west of Raton’s southernmost off ramp from I-25, Exit 450.

Daily events include:
6:00am to 9:00am Kiwanis Club Pancake Breakfast
6:00am to 10:00am Music and Live Radio Remote Broadcast
6:30am Pilots Briefing and Balloon Ascension

International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

Hot air balloons will fly at 6:30am (weather permitting).

If you are a pilot interested in participating, please print and complete both a Pilot Application and Pilot Agreement.

Location: La Mesa Airfield Hwy 555 Raton NM 87740 USA

Balloon Museum Adopts New Compelling Mission

Strategic Planning for our Second Decade Moves Upward and Onward
How Will We Inspire You?
Since it opened in 2005, the Balloon Museum has welcomed nearly one million visitors from Albuquerque and many other communities in New Mexico, as well as from across the country and around the world.
As we continue into our Second Decade, we are committed to providing meaningful, relevant service to our audiences. To guide our work, the Balloon Museum’s Board of Trustees recently made an important decision. They adopted a new mission statement, a major milestone in our on-going strategic planning process:
Our mission is to inspire a spirit of exploration, discovery, and achievement through experiences that engage our visitors in the history, science, sport, and art of ballooning and other innovative forms of flight.
Look for this new mission to influence what we do and how we invite and encourage you to participate. Let’s explore, discover, and achieve together, now and in the years ahead.
Learn more by visiting our website,, or by following us on social media.
We are open year-round, Tuesday through Saturday, and hope to see you soon!

Old Timers Balloon Rally – Roswell, NM

Old Timers Balloon Rally, Roswell, NM

33rd Annual St. Patrick’s Balloon Rallye – Belen, NM

With many, many thanks to the managers and staff of the City of Belen and the officers and members of the Valencia Flying and Retrieval Society, the 33rd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Hot Air Balloon Rallye is getting ready to launch at Belen NM’s EAGLE PARK, located at 305 Eagle Lane, Belen NM. Take the Camino Del Llano west from I-25, turn left on Mesa Road, then left on Delgado, then right on Eagle Lane at the gates of the Belen High School.

Returning for another appearance is our mascot Special Shape “Paddy The Shamrock”, accompanied by “The Old Woman and the Shoe, coming to us all the way from Amarillo TX.”
Along with our very special shapes will be at least 50 regular and smaller special shaped balloons so keep your eyes peeled for your favorites! We’ll add their photos as their registrations roll in.

And remember that VFRS accepts memberships from balloon pilots, crew members, and anyone who is interested in the family sport of hot air ballooning. Annual membership fee for an individual is still only $15, and is a mere $25 for an entire family. Attend one of our meetings and join.
Oh, before I forget! We need your photos of past St. Patrick’s Day Rallyes! Please send them via email to: so our event photo galleries can be updated. Thanks!
This event doesn’t happen without serious help from sponsors. We thank everyone who has given money, goods, and volunteer their time to this incredible community service event! Please thank them by clicking through to their web site, patronizing their businesses, or calling them to thank them for their support! Scroll Down to see them all because some don’t have web sites.
Please Thank our Sponsors by supporting their businesses.
First and foremost goes our gratitude to the City of Belen Parks & Recreation Department for hosting this fabulous event on their fields. Equal gratitude goes to the City of Belen Library and Harvey House Museum for enthusiastic support and guidance, along with the City of Belen Department of Economic Development and the City Administration, and the Director and members of the Greater Belen Chamber of Commerce. THANK YOU !!

Rail Fiesta combo pass available for Balloon Fiesta weekends

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —New Mexico Rail Runner Express has a partnership with Balloon Fiesta, allowing spectators to avoid traveling by car.

It is called the “Rail Fiesta Combo Pass.”

“With that pass, they get the train ticket, they get their ticket onto the shuttle, and the ticket into the event, so that’s one way to avoid traffic,” said Augusta Meyers, from Rail Runner Express.

For the full story, please visit KOB:

The ‘Albuquerque Box’ explained

By Mark Ronchetti

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – During the night time hours, cool air over the northern mountains sinks down to the valley floor. The heavy cool air then makes its way south to the lowest point which in this case happens to be the Rio Grande Valley.

So as day breaks the northerly cool air flow sets the stage for part of the “Box”.

When the “Box” is in full force as balloons take off from Balloon Fiesta Park the balloons move south being pushed by the northerly winds from the northern mountains.

After drifting south for a while many balloonists increase their elevation a bit and begin to ride prevailing southwesterly winds back northeast. This ends up taking many balloons over the heights and foothills for a landing that ends in a looping pattern of sorts.

That looping pattern is the “Albuquerque Box”.

Balloon Fiesta: Tips for attending and viewing

Enjoy Albuquerque’s unique experience of watching Balloon Fiesta’s 500+ mass ascension from Balloon Fiesta Park with these helpful tips:

  1. Get out there early. Everyone says to do it and it’s true. If you arrive at the field as mass ascension is ago, you may not make it into the park. Hundreds of cars are trying to enter and some years the park has filled to capacity. Study the Balloon Fiesta Interactive Map for routes in and out of the park and other viewing areas.
  2. Getting to the park early also gets you quick access to hot coffee and burritos. Once mass ascension is ago, the lines get long.
  3. Dress warm and be prepared to walk. The field is many, many football fields in length and there are hundreds of balloons to see. Since you’re arriving early, it’s cold. It feels coldest just before sunrise and the field is most often damp, so wear solid shoes. Use warmers for your gloves, boots and back pockets work the best.

For the rest of the tips and the story, please visit the KRQE site at this link

Balloon Museum “Double Eagle” Newsletter September 2016

Hello and Welcome! 
Autumn time in Albuquerque can be truly magical with the changing of the leaves and the smell of roasting green chile. We hope everyone is making time to get outside and enjoy the beauty of autumn! Give yourself a pat on the back for making it through a record hot summer.
What an amazing year 2016 has been! Thank you to everyone who has made it this incredible! We wouldn’t be here without the thousands of people that support us. We had a great summer and this fall is already off to a wonderful start!

Fiesta 2016: Balloons & Breakfast, Dine & Glow Dinner, and More! 

Fiesta 2016 is only a week away! We are over the moon excited for this year’s events at the Balloon Museum. We have our annual Balloons & Breakfast and Dine & Glow Dinner, the most comfortable way to enjoy the Fiesta, with a delicious catered meal and a fantastic view of the field.  We are selling out quickly, so book now!
For more information, please call us at 505.880.0500 or click HERE to book your tickets!

Find Joy and Fly Family Day!
Sunday, October 9, 2016
5:30 AM to 9:30 AM
Celebrate the final day of Balloon Fiesta with your family at the Balloon Museum! We have the best view of mass ascension around, so join us in our Sky Lounge for a farewell to the balloons. But don’t worry, after the mass ascension, the fun isn’t over!

Enjoy the exhibitions we currently have at the Balloon Museum, including our new Tim Anderson 4D Theater! There will also be activities for the whole family, and goodie bags for the kiddos! Tickets are $5 per person, infants under one get in free. There are a limited number of tickets, so hurry and buy them now HERE! Note that a $10 parking pass is required. We’ll see you there!

A special thank you to the following additions to our Foundation team!
Thanks to Alissa Ranf, our wonderful Intern from UNM. Alissa has enthusiastically joined our staff this Fall semester supporting us with her Social Media & Communication skills. And she has word-crafted most of this newsletter! Great job Alissa…and thanks for being such a valuable part of our Foundation team.
Thanks to Vince Le, our Fiesta Event Coordinator, who has come on board temporarily to assist us with all of our extra needs during this busy time! His artistic and graphic skills along with his great people skills make for an invaluable addition to our team! Thanks, Vince, for taking time out of your busy schedule to help us out!
Thanks to Allen Winston, our favorite Photographer who helps us out at ALL our events and activities here at the Balloon Museum. Allen, you are a blessing to all of us with your amazing photographic masterpieces, along with your fabulous adaptability and people skills, always ready to help in any and every way imaginable.
Thanks to our temporary Museum Shoppe Staff who are so helpful in taking care of our onslaught of visitors and purchasers in the Museum Shoppe. Whether it’s your first year or 10th year to help out during this busy season…we appreciate you!
And finally…a SPECIAL THANKS to ALL OUR VOLUNTEERS for donating your time, your service and your SMILES to the Balloon Museum! Our Volunteers are the Life Blood of our service to all our guests! We certainly love and appreciate our amazing Volunteers.

Introducing Scott Appelman
Scott Appelman is the President of the Board of Directors for the Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum Foundation. He is also the founder and current president of Rainbow Ryders, known as the “premier hot air balloon ride company in the Southwest.” In fact, they are one of the largest hot air balloon companies in the United States!
Scott learned the keys to success at the University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Management. In 1983 he decided to turn his hobby of Ballooning into a career. He obtained his Commercial Pilot’s License, Lighter than Air rating in 1984. Before he founded his company, Scott traveled the country competing in balloon races. With such a passion for ballooning, it seemed the next step forward had to be starting his own company.
Rainbow Ryders offers rides, promotions and instructions in hot air ballooning. As Scott says, “I get the opportunity to fulfill people’s dreams.” Hot air ballooning is such a unique and special experience, and Scott gets to provide that to the public everyday.
If you decide to take a balloon ride, go with Rainbow Ryders, and make sure to say hello to Scott!

3rd Annual Balloon Museum Holiday Arts, Crafts, and Book Fair
Get your Holiday shopping done early this year by stopping by the Balloon Museum on November 13th! If you are a New Mexico local artist, crafter, or author and are interested in being a vendor, there are still spots left! Click HERE to register.
There will be free admission to the Balloon Museum all day as well. With a wide variety
of arts, crafts, and books, there is sure to be a gift for everyone. All items are locally made and New Mexico based.
After you’ve done a bit of shopping, make sure to look around and enjoy all of our wonderful exhibits.
Manhattan on the Mesa
Celebrate New Year’s Eve the Manhattan way on New York time. Dancing, delicious food, a spectacular balloon glow, and the ball drop in New York are all you need to know about this event!
A live band and a New York Style Dinner catered by the Cooperage set the stage for the Time’s Square celebration on New York time. To top off the evening, a grand prize of two Hot Air Balloon Rides with Rainbow Ryders Balloon Company will be given to the best dressed party-goer. After the ball has dropped, stick around for more dancing, or beat the traffic going home, OR, head out to your second party to bring in the New Year on New Mexico time. Call us at 505.880.0500 or click HERE to reserve your spot!
Stories in the Sky
Don’t forget about our award winning story time! We offer two sessions every Wednesday at 9:30 AM and 11 AM! Stories in the Sky is fun for all kids in the family. We have fun art projects, educational stories, and the best part is that it’s free!

Special Ways to Donate
A beautiful way to remember a friend or family member is a Donation to the Balloon Museum. These tax deductible charitable contributions can be directed to a specific support area at the Balloon Museum by the Donor.
In loving memory of Howard Gerwin, generous donations made by Ann & Kaz Oishi and Mr. and Mrs. Spencer Gerwin. Howard was a loving husband of Dawn, Father of Greg and Spencer, and a dedicated Balloon Museum Volunteer. Donations are still being accepted in Howard Gerwin’s name at the Balloon Museum. “Those we love can never be more than a thought away… for as long as there’s a memory, they live in our hearts to stay” – Author Unknown
John Cashion
Dr. Loren Potter
Kay Souder
Blain Sant
Thank you!
If you would like to make a donation to the Balloon Museum, IN HONOR or IN MEMORY of a special family member or friend, please contact the Balloon Museum Foundation at 505-880-0500. We will be happy to help direct your generous donation to the specific area you designate. These donations are 100% tax deductible.
In addition to cash donations, we have a unique way to recognize friends and family members. The Balloon Museum FOREVER WALL with customized tiles is a great way to honor or remember someone. Each custom created and personalized tile is placed permanently on the Forever Wall at the entrance to the Balloon Museum, visible for everyone to see. Contact us anytime for more details about the Forever Wall tile program.
Other Unique Ways to Donate to the Balloon Museum:
We are now a member of the Amazon Smile

Program! The Amazon Smile Program is a simple way to support the Balloon Museum at no cost to you. When shopping with, you can find the same exact products, however, Amazon donates a portion of your purchase to the organization of your choice! Learn more HERE!
We are also part of the Smiths Community Rewards program! You can support the Balloon Museum anytime you

grocery shop! Whenever you use your Smith’s rewards card, you can make a donation to the Museum. Click HERE for more information!

We would also like to remind you that by attending our events you are supporting the Balloon Museum! Your participation helps raise funds for future events and exhibitions at the Balloon Museum.

Are you a member? 
If yes, we thank you! We greatly appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you at the Museum or at our fun events!
Not a member? Well, there is no better time than right now to become one! Your membership will entitle you to free admission year round, discounts at the Museum Shoppe, and other awesome perks! Membership levels start at $20.
Membership information is available HERE or call us at 505.880.0500 for more details!

What a Summer!
Red, White and Balloons
We had a fantastic time this 4th of July with our Red, White & Balloons event! Over 1200 guests attended to watch the fireworks show and performance by the Albuquerque Concert Band. The Balloon Museum is the perfect, exclusive viewing area for the fireworks away from the

crowds! In addition to the great music and the fireworks show, we hosted a delicious dinner upstairs at our VIP Stars n Stripes Reserved Ticket Dinner. Many families also enjoyed an open picnic on the Balloon Museum lawn and free and fun lawn activities. Keep Red, White & Balloons in mind for next year’s Independence Day! Red White & Balloons at the Balloon Museum is a great way to have a comfortable, fun, and of course, patriotic evening!

Chic-I-Boom Ball
This summer we also got to party the Carmen Miranda Brazilian way! This was our annual benefit gala for the Education programs at the Balloon Museum. It sure was a hit! The museum transformed into a Calypso Marketplace, with Sol Calypso steel drums, tropical drinks, and delicious food. We also had a successful silent live auction with fantastic items! Stay tuned for next year’s fundraiser, as it will definitely be a spectacular event!
Bill Taylor on winning the Hawaiian
Vacation Raffle! Bring us back a lei and a pineapple please!
Joe Turiciano on winning the Disney Vacation Raffle! Make sure to take a picture of Mickey Mouse for us!
Stories in the Night Sky

We had a wonderful time hosting this summer’s Stories in the Night Sky! Families enjoyed free admission, the exciting stories, and the live band. Make sure to join us next summer!

New Exhibitions at the Museum
Tim Anderson 4-D Theater
The Tim Anderson 4-D Theater is opening to the public on October 1st!  “Aerobatic Challenge,” an award winning

animated movie about flight experience, will be showing in 4-D.
This screening will be sure to excite the whole family. So grab your 3-D glasses, buckle up, and hold onto your vibrating seat!
Arctic Air: The Bold Flight of S.A. Andrée 
If you’ve never heard the story of S.A. Andrée’s attempt at flying to the North Pole, you must stop by to experience this exhibit. Coming to the Balloon Museum on September 30th, Arctic Air tells the suspenseful story of the first-ever attempt to reach the North Pole by balloon. In 1897 S.A. Andrée and his crew used the most innovative technology of the time and made a fateful attempt on a perilous journey! Come check it out!
Hall of Fame
We are pleased to announce the 2016 inductees to the International Ballooning Commission Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees include Albuquerque’s own Troy Bradley and Isaburo Yamada of Japan! Visit the Hall of Fame at the Balloon Museum, where you can learn about those who have made remarkable and notable contributions. The 2016 induction will take place on September 30th!
The Box Interactive Preview
Opening October 1st, this unique and fun exhibit allows you to create your own balloon and launch it into the famous Albuquerque Box! You can be one of the first people to launch their own balloon into the Box!

Mark Your Calendars!
Upcoming Balloon Museum Events
  • Tim Anderson 4D Theater – Opening October 1st
  • Darth and Yoda Awaken – September 30 – Free!
  • Balloons & Breakfast – October 1,2,5,6,7,8 – TiCKETS 
  • Dine & Glow – October 1,2,6,7,8 – RSVP
  • Find Joy and Fly Family Day – October 9 – TICKETS
  • Buddy Bombard’s Ballooning Adventure Tribute – October 4 – TICKETS
  • BOO!-lloon Mania – October 28
  • 3rd Annual Balloon Museum Holiday Arts, Crafts, and Book Fair – November 13
  • Manhattan on the Mesa – December 31 – BOOK NOW
Check the website for updates and details as the events get closer!
Words from Jill Lane 
Executive Director, A.A.I.B.M.F.
As this year’s Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta rolls around, here at the Balloon Museum we will be rolling out the red carpet for our visitors from near and far! This is always a magical time of year to experience the awe and excitement so apparent on the faces of our museum visitors. From toddlers watching balloons float over the Balloon Museum to adults becoming kids again with all the colors and the excitement of the season, we ALL get caught up in the spirit of ballooning and what a unique place we call home in Albuquerque.
Here at the museum, we are SO excited about all the NEW and FUN and EDUCATIONAL and INNOVATIVE exhibits and activities added to our traditional line-up of things to see and do at the Balloon Museum. We’ve tried to tempt you with some brief overviews in this issue, but in reality, the best way to experience them is to come out to the museum yourself! And remember, our Balloon Museum members get special discounts on our Dine & Glow and Balloons & Breakfast events too!
Do you have friends or family visiting during Fiesta? If so, then bring them along for the BEST VIEW OF THE BALLOONING ACTION from right here at the Balloon Museum. We are so proud to have you share our unique and iconic museum with everyone. You are sure to be deemed the BEST HOST EVER as you help showcase all we have to offer.
And while here at the Balloon Museum…either during Fiesta or afterward…it’s not too late to start your Holiday Shopping. As a Balloon Museum member, you ALWAYS get a 10% discount in the Museum Shoppe! Our gift shop has everything ballooning imaginable…and more! There is sure to be something for everyone on your list! Your purchases support our fabulous Balloon Museum.
Thank you again for being part of our Balloon Museum family. We love sharing our special world with you!
Jill D. Lane 
Jill D. Lane
Executive Director
Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum Foundation
9201 Balloon Museum Dr. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113
505.880.0500 Office

Buddy’s Ballooning Adventure

Buddy’s Ballooning Adventure – A special tribute to world renowned balloonist Buddy Bombard, an inspiration for a new major exhibit at the Balloon Museum.
Join us and learn more as we celebrate the innovation and joy brought to the world and how adventurous journeys become a great “storybook” for all to enjoy.
Help Us Build Buddy’s Ballooning Adventure
in a “storybook” setting. Multiple “chapters” in the exhibition
will feature various children who progressively learn more
about hot air ballooning. these characters age as the story continues, ultimately becoming young adults, and one or more has become a balloon pilot.
WHAT:      Buddy’s Ballooning Adventure Event – A Special Evening at the Balloon Museum
WHERE:    Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum
                  9201 Balloon Museum Dr. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113
WHEN:      Tuesday, October 4, 2016
TIME:         6:00-8:30 PM 
A special Balloon Inflation and Demonstration on the Lawn followed by an Indoor Reception in Sky Lounge. Presentations, Champagne Toast and Reception with Hors’ D’oeuvres.
Includes Special Proclamations by the City and
Keynote Address by Guest Speaker, Buddy Bombard.
COST:       $40 per person