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Media Release

Published: 08/13/2008
Kathie Leyendecker, Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, 505-228-9874 Megan Mayo, Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau, 505-222-4349

37th Annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Launches in October

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The Hot Air Balloon Capital of the world “Launches Dreams” for the 37th Annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. This year’s event will be held October 4-12, 2008 with more than 600 hot air balloons. (

October is one of the most beautiful times to visit New Mexico, leaves turn colors, the smell of roasted green chile fills the air, and hundreds of hot air balloons can be seen in the early morning sky over Albuquerque for 10 days.  Hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world have been traveling to Albuquerque for 37 years to celebrate the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.®

This year’s fiesta is a can’t miss with the return of the Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race that will take place Saturday, October 4, 2008. Dating back over 100 years, this premier gas balloon distance race (often compared to the America’s Cup yacht race) attracts some of the most experienced and distinguished pilot teams from around the world. Last year legendary ballooning team Richard Abruzzo and Dr. Carol Rymer Davis, from Albuquerque, won the 48th Annual Coupe Gordon Bennett, solidifying the arrival of its fourth return to Albuquerque, and bringing this prestigious event back to U.S. soil. This year there will be 12 teams from six different countries including Germany, Great Britain, Austria, Switzerland, France and the United States.

The 2008 International Balloon Fiesta promises to provide adventure and excitement for everyone.  At the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum there is a permanent display of the Double Eagle II, which celebrates the 30th anniversary of the first gas balloon to successfully cross the Atlantic. At Balloon Fiesta Park, more than 600 balloons will launch including eight new special shape balloons. Guests can interact with all of the pilots (including the 43 new Balloon Fiesta pilots) and their crews as they inflate and fly their balloons from the field.  Experience mass ascensions, balloon glows, the Wells Fargo Special Shape Rodeo, fireworks, and the 15th Annual America's Challenge Gas Balloon Race.

Aside from the exciting sites and sounds of the Fiesta, venues throughout the city offer an assortment of activities from fine arts & crafts shows and festivals to special cultural entertainment at museums. Visit for a complete list of Albuquerque events.

We invite you to visit the 2008 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and be part of an amazing experience.  It’ll feel like you’re in a dream!
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