ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The Flight of the Nations launch at Balloon Fiesta was a go Wednesday after an hours-long wait due to wind.

Media relations director Tom Garrity tweeted that the word of the day at the fiesta was patience. Soon after, Garrity also tweeted that the upper winds were improving and officials still remained hopeful that the Flight of the Nations launch will take place.

It looks like patience paid off.

The morning glow and dawn patrol were able to launch around 6:30 a.m., then spectators waited to hear word from officials about the rest of the balloons.

Officials said they hoped the winds would die down once the sun came up, and they re-evaluated conditions every half hour or so to see if the Balloon Fiesta launch would take place. Twenty-two nations were represented in the Albuquerque sky Wednesday morning once the balloons were able to take flight.

When the green flag came up signaling the launch would take place, the crowd cheered and pilots didn’t waste any time blowing up the their balloons.

KRQE News 13 followed social media through the morning for live updates from reporters, photographers and spectators.

We would like to welcome you to the Ballooning Capital of the World web site.  The Ballooning Capital is located in the greater Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA area including area communities like Rio Rancho.

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta  is the world’s largest hot air balloon festival and takes place each October.  During the balloon festival you will see literally hundreds of balloons.  The event is considered to be the most photographed event in the world.  Guests of the event are allowed to mingle amongst the balloons and possibly even to help the crews.

There are more resident hot air balloonists in the local area than anywhere else in the world.  The ideal conditions and the growth of the sport have attracted many people to the Albuquerque area.  Hardly a day goes by without a balloon launch, weather permitting.

Albuquerque has a unique climatological feature called the “box”.  The Sandia Mountain to the east blocks the sun from heating the ground, and as a result, the air near the ground is cooler and flows to the south, and 600-700 feet up, the warmer air flows to the north, allowing the balloon pilot to launch and land in nearly the same spot, if not in fact, the same spot.

Another great activity is called balloon glow.  This is the glow from the balloon when the hot propane-powered flames light up the balloon, and because of the balloon’s size, can be seen from a long distance.  Several times during the year there are actual balloon glow events during which the balloons are on display, but aren’t launched.

This web site has been created to tell the world about what is going on here and we welcome your comments and pictures.   Our host is a photographer so there will be many unique photos not found elsewhere plus photos contributed by other photographers.

Thanks for stopping by and we hope to see you back again!