September 1, 2022 – Beginning this fall, visitors to the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum can experience the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® year-round. The museum’s new permanent exhibit, Canopy of Color: Celebrating Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta, will delight visitors with the evocative sights and sounds of Balloon Fiesta long after the annual October event ends.
Albuquerque had the first Balloon Fiesta in 1972 as part of an anniversary celebration for KKOB radio with the flight of 13 balloons. Fifty years later, the Balloon Museum celebrates the event’s growth and longevity with an exhibit that tells the story of Balloon Fiesta’s beginnings, highlights the people and ballooning culture, and showcases hot air balloons. and gas that make it all possible.
“Visitors can see personal photos and news footage from the first Balloon Fiesta, clothing and memorabilia of balloonists from the museum’s collection, and even gondolas flown during Balloon Fiestas,” explains Nan Masland, Director of the museum. “Kids of all ages can touch real balloon envelope fabrics and step into a reimagined balloon basket to prepare for liftoff.”
In addition to the artifacts, videos and photos on display, visitors can also view a special art installation by Albuquerque artist Thomas Tomlinson. His Bloom Box makes visible the invisible flight pattern that hot air balloons can follow thanks to Albuquerque’s “box,” a unique wind pattern created by the Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande Valley.
Canopy of Color opens to the public on Saturday, September 24. Events from 10 a.m. to noon include a first look at this highly anticipated exhibit. This exhibit was made possible by generous grants from the State of New Mexico, the City of Albuquerque, and private donations raised by the Balloon Museum Foundation, and is the creative collaboration of the Balloon Museum and its partners. by Double T Designs, LLC, Masterminds Studios and Ripe, Inc.
Members of the media are invited to a media preview of the Canopy of Color exhibit on Monday, September 19 at 11 a.m. before the public opening. Balloon Fiesta curators, balloon pilots and historians will be available for interviews. Light refreshments will be served. All press professionals will receive a Media Pass which will allow them free access to the museum via Balloon Fiesta 2022. Photos of the exhibition are available on request.