Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

46th Annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Part 6 of 6 - Evening Glow, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

For nine days in early October, the beyond spectacular event known as the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta unfolds in the mile-high city of Albuquerque, New Mexico in the southwestern United States. As many as 500+ balloons may participate daily at the Fiesta. It is the largest balloon gathering in the world and unimaginable in its size and scope.

The above image illustrates the evening glow event. On many nights of the nine-day Fiesta, the balloons remain tethered to the ground and demonstrate coordinated illuminations wherein each pilot fires his/her burners simultaneously. And what a sound that creates, hundreds of roaring fires of flaming gas - like giant blowtorches, lighting up the colorful, towering nylon envelopes. These are truly amazing moments.

This blog post is Part 6, my final post, of a multi-part series about my recent experience at the Balloon Fiesta and covers the last part of the evening glow event. Part 1 covered the pre-dawn activity. Part 2 covered the dawn activity. Part 3 covered the daytime morning activity. Part 4 covered some of the special shape balloons that participated in the event. Part 5 covered the first part of the evening glow event. Links to each post are provided at the bottom of this post.

(Click on an image to view a higher resolution version if your device supports that action).

The sun is gone, the sky is dark, the stars are twinkling - it's time to deflate and get ready for the laser show and fireworks which follow.

As the last few balloons deflate, the laser show begins, and I slowly walk toward the exit taking mental stock of what a grand and inspired experience and place this event has been.

The stated purpose in the masthead of this blog is that it is about " beautiful and/or interesting sights in our world." The 46th Annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta certainly met that goal and more by demonstrating beauty, grace, drama, and eloquence - these huge droplet shaped dreams floating along on the breeze or tethered in place - simply stunning -  the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta was bigger, better, and more beautiful than I could imagine in a setting of natural grandeur in the American Southwest - the storied land of open spaces, warmth and sunshine, cowboys and Native Americans, cactus and canyons.

Definitely a "bucket list" life event.

The sheer scale of this event - spread out over 78 bustling acres with hundreds of 70+ feet tall balloons changing colors as blasts of fiery air briefly illuminate them from within like exploding super novas all against the backdrop of a 10,000-foot mountain range. (See my first post on the pre-dawn images). The Fiesta provided wonderful views of natural beauty and man-made beauty all in the context of great drama!

Note to photographers: all my images in these six blog posts were made with a Sony RX100M2 point and shoot camera.  Imagine what a full-frame, tripod mounted, HDR-enabled, top quality glass camera would/could have created. You should come next year and see if you are up to the photographic challenge to surpass this point-and-shooter's results!

Links to my other blogs on this event:

Post 1 - Pre-dawn
Post 2 - Dawn
Post 3 - Daytime
Post 4 - Special Shapes
Post 5 - Evening Glow


  1. You invite others to “come next year and see if you are up to the photographic challenge to surpass this point-and-shooter's results!”

    Seriously, I doubt if many others can.

    Beautiful photo’s, all of them again thank you soooo much for sharing an even that many of us will not ever get to experience up close and personal.

    1. Thanks for making the comment and your thoughtful words. I appreciate it.