Skip to main content

New Permanent Exhibition, Canopy of Color, at the Balloon Museum Showcases Balloon Fiesta Year-Round

Exhibition opens to the public ahead of the 50th Balloon Fiesta.

September 1, 2022 - Starting this fall, visitors to the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum can experience the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® year-round. The museum’s new permanent exhibition, Canopy of Color: Celebrating Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta, will delight visitors with the evocative sights and sounds of Balloon Fiesta long after the annual October event ends.

Albuquerque experienced the first Balloon Fiesta in 1972 as part of a birthday celebration for KKOB radio with the flight of 13 balloons. Fifty years later, the Balloon Museum celebrates the event’s growth and longevity with an exhibition that tells Balloon Fiesta’s early history, highlights the people and culture of ballooning, and showcases the hot air and gas balloons that make it all possible.

“Visitors can see personal photos and news footage from the first Balloon Fiesta, balloonists’ clothing and memorabilia from the museum’s collection, and even gondolas flown in past Balloon Fiestas,” Nan Masland, museum manager explains. “Kids of all ages can touch real balloon envelope fabrics and step inside a reimagined balloon basket to prepare for liftoff.”

In addition to the objects, videos, and photos on display, visitors can also view a special art installation by Albuquerque artist Thomas Tomlinson. His Bloom Box makes visible the invisible flight pattern that hot air balloons can take thanks to the Albuquerque “Box,” a unique wind pattern created by the Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande Valley.

Canopy of Color opens to the public Saturday, September 24. Events from 10:00 a.m. to noon include a first look at this much anticipated exhibition. This exhibition was made possible by generous grants from the State of New Mexico, City of Albuquerque, and private donations raised by the Balloon Museum Foundation, and is the creative collaboration of the Balloon Museum and its design partners Double T Designs, LLC, Masterminds Studios, and Ripe, Inc.

Members of the media are invited to a Media Preview of the Canopy of Color exhibition on Monday, September 19 at 11 a.m. in advance of the public opening. Curators, balloon pilots, and Balloon Fiesta historians will be available for interviews. Light refreshments will be served. All press professionals will receive a Media Pass which is good for free museum admission through Balloon Fiesta 2022. Photos of the exhibition are available upon request.