Students in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho will get the chance to view a balloon liftoff close up on Sept. 30.
Albuquerque Aloft, the first flying event of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, will bring hot air balloons to the grounds of most public elementary schools in the cities. During the event, students, families and staff have the opportunity to meet pilots and crew while watching how the balloons inflate and fly.
Balloonists at selected schools can elect to fly from the campus or remain inflated at the school site. According to Albuquerque Public Schools, the only elementaries in the district not participating are those undergoing construction or that lack the space to host a balloon. Nearly 200 pilots are registered to participate in the event this year.
Balloon inflation is scheduled to begin between 6:45-7 a.m. with launch anywhere from 7-7:30 a.m., weather permitting.
The event, which began in 2005, is considered a kickoff to the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. It is the only Fiesta event where balloons launch from pre-designated sites outside of Balloon Fiesta Park, providing city residents and guests a visual preview of festivities as balloons launch from different sites around the city simultaneously.
For a list of pilots and participating schools, click here.