On Saturday, February 9, a new exhibit entitled “We Fill the Sky with Dreams” opens at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. The exhibition centers on various aspects of hot air ballooning, and primarily focuses on the relationship of hot air balloons and Albuquerque.
The exhibition chronicles how the late Sid Cutter introduced modern hot air balloons to Albuquerque and his role in popularizing and promoting hot air ballooning throughout New Mexico and worldwide. From the small beginning with a celebration of KOB’s 50th Anniversary in the parking lot of Coronado Center in 1972, through hosting the first and second Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Hot Air Balloon Championships in 1973 and 1975, the Balloon Fiesta has grown into the best known and most prestigious hot air ballooning event.
The exhibition will cover the transition from private to City of Albuquerque sponsorship, establishing the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta®, the incredible details and personnel, including volunteers, that go into organizing the yearly event, and the major economic impact the event has on the city and state.
Combining documentary archival material, iconic images and artifacts, and lighthearted memorabilia, the exhibition will evoke many memories of the past for visitors. A variety of stickers, pins, patches and rally-related ephemera will await discovery in special drawers. Visitors will enjoy the “Be a Part of It” section where they can add their own collectible cards, patches or pins.
Video clips of historic and contemporary ballooning events and striking images of hot air balloons will be presented, as well as information on how hot air balloons fly. Answers to many frequently asked questions about ballooning will aid visitors’ knowledge. There will be a complete ballooning system on display—offering a great photo op for visitors.
“We Fill the Sky with Dreams” opens the weekend of the Albuquerque Aerostat Ascension Association (AAAA) balloon club’s “Friends and Lovers” rally at Balloon Fiesta Park, and also coincides with the 40th anniversary of the first-ever FAI World Hot Air Balloon Championships held at the New Mexico State Fairgrounds in February of 1973.
Year-round admission to the Museum is $4 for adults ($3 for NM residents), $2 for seniors 65+, $1 for children ages 4-12, and children 3 and under are FREE. Admission is free each Sunday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., and all day on the first Friday of every month. Balloon Museum Foundation members, ICOM, AAM, and NMAM members are FREE.
The Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is a division of the Cultural Services Department, City of Albuquerque, Richard J. Berry, Mayor. Located at 9201 Balloon Museum Drive NE just south of Balloon Fiesta Park (North of Alameda), the Balloon Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. year-round (closed Mondays). For more information, call 505-768-6020, visit www.cabq.gov/balloon, or call 311. For accessibility, call Relay NM or 711.