First day of Balloon Fiesta 2023

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Balloons of all shapes and sized flew up Saturday morning for the 51st International Balloon Fiesta. Hundreds of thousands were at the field for Mass Ascension.  

Visitors watched several first responder helicopters land on the field, and there were some horse mounted units saying hello.

Hours before that there was “a sky show before the sky show” where visitors were treated to a spectacular drone show.

There were lots of cool New Mexico displays to pick out, including a homage to Area 51 that turned into “fiesta.” There’s also the Route 66 drone display, and the red and green chiles.

Some people watched the drone show in their cars outside the park. 

This year, the traffic to Balloon Fiesta Park was no different with cars were lined up both ways on I-25.

Balloon pilots eventually got the go-ahead to take flight Saturday morning. 

Outside the park, KOB 4 crews were on the ground tracking balloons. 

At the end of the day there was the first evening Balloon Flow.