Albuquerque, NM – The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is gearing up for the world famous celebration of ballooning, the 2011 Balloon Fiesta will take place October 1 through October 9. “The Greatest Show Off Earth” is this year’s theme.

This year will mark the 40th time that pilots, volunteers and guests have gathered from around the world to watch as New Mexico skies fill with hot air and gas balloons. What started as a radio promotion in 1972, with 13 balloons in attendance, has grown to be the largest gathering of balloons and most photographed event in the world. This year’s event will feature more than 500 hot air and gas balloons taking to the skies during the nine day event.

This year’s 40th event is special in many ways and will be dedicated to Sid Cutter – the “Father of Balloon Fiesta” who recently passed away after a battle with cancer. Cutter helped establish the Balloon Fiesta in 1972 and had been a key supporter and partner.

In addition to the majestic mass ascensions and more than 90 special shape balloons, pilots will have a chance to win $100,000 in the Sandia Resort & Casino $100,000 Challenge, a new event for the 40th Balloon Fiesta.

Come and visit, take in the sights and sounds of our Krispy Kreme Morning Glows, Mass Ascensions, America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race, balloon glows and Special Shape Rodeo™. Of course, since it is the 40th event, there will be commemorative celebrations, events and entertainment to mark the occasion. Check for details on


About the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is an annual festival of hot air balloons that takes place every October in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. It is the largest gathering of balloons and balloonists in the world. For details on events, schedule, entertainment and photographs visit our website and follow us in on Twitter @BalloonFiesta and Facebook.