Hot air balloon YouTuber showcases state’s culture

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Dozens of hot air balloons were up Saturday morning in Albuquerque to showcase the state’s culture outside of Balloon Fiesta. 

As we get closer to Valentine’s Day, love is in the air, and so was a love for balloons.

“This is our day one of our Annual Friends and Lovers Festival, this is the second-oldest balloon festival in the state of New Mexico,” said Doug Gannt, a flying events chair for the Quad A Balloon Club. 

People came to gather and gaze at the sites and sounds of balloons on Saturday morning. But one viewer in particular believes everyone should be able to marvel at these hot-aired wonders.  

“I thought that if I love something so much that I could share it with the world as well,” said Brandon Le, an Albuquerque Academy student. 

Le started his passion project of making hot air balloon videos on YouTube just a few years ago in 2020.

“I started it during the pandemic when the Balloon Fiesta had been cancelled, I want to show what others could not enjoy from previous years, so we could still enjoy the hot air balloons,” said Le.

Finding a way to showcase these giants is something Le wants to share with the world, and although he has just around 500 subscribers right now, he reaches up to 40 to 100,000 views on his videos.

Le’s passion for balloons started as a child growing up in Albuquerque.

“Since I was younger my mom used to take me down here all of the time and I just really love it,” Le said. 

Now, he tries to go to as many balloon events in Albuquerque as he can not only to share with the world, but to highlight Albuquerque in a positive light.

“Most of the time they don’t have anything nice to say and I kind of wanted to show there’s more to Albuquerque, there is something we should love about our city,” said Le.