ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Attendance at the 2023 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta reached a record high and surpassed pre-pandemic levels, according to the official numbers released on Monday.
The 51st Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta was held Oct. 7-15 and attracted an estimated 968,516 visitors to Balloon Fiesta Park. The last time attendance was over 900,000 was in 2015, with 955,703 estimated visitors.
Balloon Fiesta Attendance Since 2005:
|2020||N/A because of the pandemic|
This year, Balloon Fiesta hosted the 66th Gordon Bennett race, a gas balloon distance race that attracted 17 pilot teams from around the world. Balloon Fiesta said 16 of those teams launched from Balloon Fiesta Park on Saturday, Oct. 7.
Thousands of people also flocked to Balloon Fiesta Park on Oct. 14 to watch the annular solar eclipse cross directly over Albuquerque.
The 2023 Balloon Fiesta featured 546 registered hot air balloons, including 107 special shape balloons, and 629 pilots representing 16 countries.
This year, two of the 14 sessions were canceled due to poor weather conditions, and one was counted as a rain check event, with tickets allowed for re-use.
In 2022, there were 648 registered hot air balloons at the 50th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, including 118 special shape balloons, and 648 pilots representing 20 countries.
Last year, eight of the 14 sessions were canceled due to poor weather conditions and were counted as rain check events.
Officials announced that the 52nd Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta will be held Oct. 5-13, 2024.