ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The most magical time of year in Albuquerque is quickly approaching. While the International Balloon Fiesta is always special, this year will be one for the books.

“We’re excited to be the place where the world comes for ballooning, and especially in 2023 on our second Saturday after a successful launch, we look forward to the place where the world comes to view an eclipse,” Tom Garrity, a spokesperson for Balloon Fiesta said.

Saturday, October 14, a little after 9 in the morning, the annular solar eclipse will be visible in the sky. It’s something the Balloon Fiesta team has had their sights set on for the past few years.

“Two years ago, we started to look at the time that it would occur. That stuff is out of our control, but man, are we going to benefit from it,” Garrity explained..

You’ll have a chance to see the “Ring of Fire,” a rare sighting when the moon does not fully cover the sun, right from the field of Balloon Fiesta Park.

“We have been receiving so much international interest about Balloon Fiesta and specifically what is going to be happening on the field while the annular eclipse is taking place overhead,” Garrity stated.

With the eclipse up above, special events are planned down on the field, like a balloon glow with more than 70 hot air balloons, something Garrity said we usually only see at night during Fiesta.

“It’s going to be so unique because with the annular eclipse, will have a totality for about four minutes, 30 seconds give or take, and during that time, it’s not going to get pitch black, but it will be somewhat very similar to the kind of conditions that we have for balloon glow in the evenings.”

A bonus for fiesta-goers on top of all the familiar classics. “We like to think that the Balloon Fiesta can definitely stand on its own, but the opportunity to also have an eclipse taking place, that’s what makes it special,” Garrity said.

NASA will also be there giving away 80,000 solar sunglasses for visitors to watch the eclipse safely. They’ll also be teaching guests more about the annular solar eclipse.

Tickets can be purchased on the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta’s website.