Balloon Fiesta set an all-time attendance record in 2023

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Officials with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta confirmed the event set an all-time attendance record in 2023.

During the 2023 Balloon Fiesta, there were an estimated 968,516 visitors. That topped the all-time record of 955,703 visitors, set in 2015.

Last year, there were more than 828,000 attendees for the nine-day event. The year before, there were an estimated 783,866 attendees in the first year back from COVID.

The 2023 Balloon Fiesta had a total of 629 registered pilots for 546 registered hot air balloons, including 107 special shape balloons. 12 of those special shape balloons were new to Fiesta.

The Gordon Bennett Gas Race drew 17 teams and 75 remote-control balloons participated in Fiesta.

Balloon Fiesta set a new Guinness World Record for the “Largest Display of Model Hot Air Balloons,” of 55 balloons, during the Wednesday festivities.

The Fiesta lived up to its “International” billing as 16 countries were represented, between the registered pilots and the Gordon Bennett race:

Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States

Poor weather canceled just two of the 14 sessions – the evening of October 12 and the morning of October 15.

Here are some other figures officials released Monday:

  • 1,134 navigators/volunteers
  • 836 media representatives from 142 organizations
  • 771,631 total views on Balloon Fiesta Live

The 2024 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta will take place October 5-13.

Balloon Fiesta attendance numbers since 2011


X Marks the Spot 2023 winners

  • John and Jeremy Mechenbier
  • Chris Aldrige
  • Iris Flechsenhaar
  • Viviana Moreno
  • Abigail Savage
  • Debbie Harlow
  • Lance Flemming
  • Kelsey Culbertson
  • Myla Hackett