Balloons Over Albuquerque

Steve Larese

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From the festival founder's boast at a party in 1971 that he could fly his newly bought balloon, to an annual celebration that now draws more than half a million people to New Mexico, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a story of good times and friendships formed over decades of ballooning. An average of 700 balloonists from scores of nations participate in the October event, lifting off with the rising sun in the crisp Albuquerque air and floating against the turquoise skies and salmon-pink Sandía Mountains. Traditional balloons mix with specially designed balloons such as shade-wearing suns and Darth Vader to thrill the tens of thousands of spectators below. The excitement continues into the nights with balloon glows and fireworks. More than 150 images capture the colors, crowds, and camaraderie that have made Albuquerque the ballooning capital of the world.

Size: 9 1/8" x 8 1/8" | 190 color photos | 128 pp
ISBN13: 9780764347948

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Steve Larese is an Albuquerque-based travel journalist who is editor of GuestLife New Mexico, and is a correspondent who covers New Mexico for Forbes Travel Guide and USA Today Travel. He also writes about and photographs North American and Caribbean destinations and topics for such publications as National Geographic Traveler, American Way, Interval World, New Mexico Journey, Southwest Fly Fishing, Cape Cod Life, Oklahoma Today and many other regional and national publications. His books include Southwest Reflections: Grand Canyon & the Four Corners, Durango Perspectives and Santa Fe Reflections and The Best Recipes from New Mexico’s B&Bs. Though Larese travels extensively for assignments, he feels most at home exploring the cultures and landscapes of the American Southwest. His website is