From a small gathering of 13 balloons in 1972 the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival has grown to become the largest balloon event in the world. Held each October the festival now attracts almost 600 balloons and 1000 pilots.
The first gathering was held in the parking lot of Coronado Center Mall in Albuquerque. The following year 14 countries took part in the “First World Hot Air Balloon Championship”, the worlds largest ballooning event, held at the New Mexico Stare Fairgrounds. By 1978 Albuquerque was playing host to 273 entries. The number of balloons steadily increased with 600 in 1988 and 903 balloons in 1999. The organisation registered over 1000 balloons in 2000. In order to accommodate the increases in balloons and guests the festival’s home field has grown from a corner in a mall parking lot to its present home, a permanent site which is more than 350 acres.
The festival has not only grown in numbers of balloons and guests but in the number d unique events as well. In addition to the spectacular Mass Ascensions, the festival now has added the annual Balloon Glow, the Night Magic Glow, and the Special Shape Rodeo. These additions have grown to become guest favourites. In order to preserve this festival more than 25 million still photos are taken, repeatedly earning it the title of the world’s most photographed event.
This is all lovely and well and good but intel has come into XPETS HQ that some villainy is afoot (as Sherlock would say) with party pooper Evil Erik planning on blowing holes in the balloons to make them plummet to he ground. So or mission is to take to be skies and stop Evil Erik and complete the competition at the end – with counting the number of balloons, caption photo and answering a couple of questions.
Are you ready XPETS? See you all Sunday for this fun adventure! Runs off to clean and iron super suit!