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Balloon Museum Adds Must-See Events, New Exhibits, and Extended Hours During Balloon Fiesta

Annular eclipse viewing event, artist talks, craft cocktails, and more on tap October 7-15.
September 28, 2023

The Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is set to elevate the exhilaration of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® with extended hours from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and an impressive lineup of captivating events from October 7-15. From the awe-inspiring annular solar eclipse viewing event on October 14 to the lively Lift Your Spirits Craft Cocktail Festival on October 13, the museum's calendar if full of unforgettable experiences. 

Experience the Balloon Fiesta from the launch field, and enjoy a new perspective on the event by watching from the Balloon Museum lawn. Enjoy a breakfast burrito from onsite food truck Desert Sky on the Fly and a latte from Dawn Patrol Coffee Shack. 

In addition to the museum’s permanent collection and attractions, new and updated exhibitions include Dirigible Dreams, which explores the airship mania of the early 20th century, and Ed Yost: Forever Pushing the Envelope, a tribute to the visionary "father of modern hot air ballooning." With a myriad of activities and attractions, the Balloon Museum promises an immersive journey into the world of flight during this year's Balloon Fiesta.

On the eve of Balloon Fiesta, Friday, Oct. 6, the Balloon Museum will host the prestigious Féderation Aéronautique Internationale Ballooning Commission International Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, a private event. This year’s Hall of Fame inductees, Dewey Reinhard of the United States and Phil Dunnington of the United Kingdom, were announced in Hasle Rüegsau, Switzerland, earlier this year.

Event Highlights

Saturday, Oct. 7 at 9 a.m. - Artist Talk by Bryce Risely of Bryce Risely: Focusing Beyond Balloons. Based in Santa Fe, photographer Bryce Risley is currently engaged in a multi-year project to collect images and stories from members of Albuquerque’s hot air ballooning community.

Saturday, Oct. 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. - Mobile Learning Adventure hosted by PNC Bank Early Childhood Travelling Exhibit (East Lawn)

Sunday, Oct. 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. - Mobile Learning Adventure hosted by PNC Bank Early Childhood Travelling Exhibit (East Lawn)

Sunday, Oct. 8 at 9 a.m. - The Legacy of Ed Yost by Orvin Olivier. The talk will explore the early test flights and Yost’s contributions to hot air ballooning.

Wednesday, Oct. 10 from 7 to 9 a.m. - Balloons in the Sky Early Childhood Activities. Bring your youngest balloon enthusiasts for a morning of play, music, and ballooning themed activities.

Thursday, Oct. 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. - STEAM Night at the Balloon Museum, an event for curious minds of all ages. Visitors will learn about the upcoming annular eclipse from the experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and National Science Foundation (NSF); craft their own solar viewer; enjoy live music; food trucks; and hands-on activities.        

Friday, Oct. 13 from 4 to 9 p.m. - Lift Your Spirits Craft Cocktail Festival presented by the Dept. of Arts & Culture and New Mexico Distillers Guild. Attendees can enjoy live music, craft cocktails, and sunset views from the Balloon Museum lawn. Tickets to Lift Your Spirits includes museum admission, but not the cost of drinks. Tickets available at

Saturday, Oct. 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Annular Eclipse Viewing. Stand in the path of annularity as this amazing phenomenon passes over Albuquerque. Experience a half day of presentations by space weather scientists and climatologists by NOAA, with special guests from NASA and NSF; enjoy hands-on activities; and food trucks.

More information on all events can be found here.

New and Updated Exhibitions


With new Zeppelins and other airships taking to the skies throughout Europe and the United States at the turn of the 20th century, airship mania took hold, and this seemingly futuristic means of transport, communication, and connectivity was permeating society and culture. From postcards, advertisements, music, and pop culture in general, the sleek, silver airships were the embodiment of futuristic visions of air travel and were everywhere. They immediately captivated the imaginations of people worldwide as they were beacons of modernity and hope for what could be possible for the future of humanity.


In Bryce Risley: Focusing Beyond Balloons, hot air balloonists take center stage. Based in Santa Fe, photographer Bryce Risley is currently engaged in a multi-year project to collect images and stories from members of Albuquerque’s hot air ballooning community. He plans to publish his findings in book form in The Albuquerque Balloonist. This exhibition of 30 photographs is a small sample of the work that he has collected for the project so far.         


A new exhibit on Ed Yost, the “father of the modern hot air balloon,” formally opens to the public on Sunday, Oct. 8. Hot air balloon events such as the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® would not be possible without the inventions and innovations of Ed Yost. Yost designed and built the earliest iterations of the modern hot air balloon envelope and system.


In 2022, the Balloon Museum opened its exhibition Canopy of Color: Celebrating Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta® to mark the 50th anniversary of annual event. This year, the Balloon Museum celebrates the 51st anniversary of the first-ever World Hot Air Balloon Championship, which happened in Albuquerque during the 1973 Balloon Fiesta. The museum has updated Canopy of Color to showcase the first and second world championships, which were both held during Balloon Fiesta. The exhibition features objects from the Dennis Floden collection from his time as the Gr-r-reat Tony Balloon pilot. Floden won the world championship in 1973 and was one of the first Balloon Fiesta pilots.


The Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett, the FAI World Long Distance Gas Balloon Championship, is the oldest and most prestigious event in aviation and the ultimate challenge for the pilots. This year, the race begins at Balloon Fiesta Park. The Balloon Museum will host the command center which serves as mission control to monitor weather conditions and stay in communication with each team in the air. Visitors can view the action in person in the Perspectives Gallery.      

Tickets to the Balloon Museum can be purchased online at