Story and Photos by Hilary Broman
Albuquerque is home to the largest ballooning event in the world and the most photographed event on earth according the Balloon Fiesta media officials.
This week the 45th annual Balloon Fiesta came to a close.
The balloon fiesta is a local tradition according to Emilio Martinez, a CNM nursing major.
Some local CNM students, balloon crew workers, and spectators shared their favorite parts of the Balloon Fiesta.
“Nothing beats getting up super early, hitting Starbucks before the sun comes up and witnessing hundreds of balloons taking to the skies,” Cody Johnson, a CNM business and psychology major said.
Ricardo Baca, a recent CNM Aviation Maintenance graduate, recalls his first balloon fiesta experience, “I was 6 years old. I saw the sonic hedgehog and I told my mom; ‘Damn, he’s humongous, I bet I could beat the game with that sonic.’ I got in trouble and I only got my hot chocolate because it was cold. It was still a fun day though.”
“My favorite is the balloon glow,” Baca said. “I enjoy watching all of the shapes and colors while having a cold beer.”
Francine Stewart, who has been on the Belgium bear balloon crew since 2001 said, “The best part about crewing is being able to meet so many new people from all around the world. Every day is an adventure. My balloon crew has become more than friends to me, they are family!”
“My favorite part of the balloon fiesta would have to be walking around eating a Blake’s burrito with hot chocolate and enjoying the company I’m with,” Martinez said. For anyone who has not been to the balloon fiesta Martinez recommends to dress warm, bring friends and family and get a breakfast burrito.