Hot air balloons look like the epitome of fun. With their colorful marks and open baskets, it’s like a Disney adventure with endless possibilities. Especially with a collection of hot air balloons. The scene is like a dreamscape. However, the unstable contraptions sometimes get into tricky situations. Such is the case of a hot air balloon in New Mexico’s Balloon Fiesta.
The annual celebration brings hot air balloon enthusiasts from all over, according to local news station KRQE. The bright objects fill the sky above Albuquerque.
“It’s hard to explain it. Just flying with 600 of your closest friends. It’s just, it’s like nothing else,” said local balloon pilot Sharon Hartshorn.
Thousands gather for the festival each year.
Balloon Fiesta Fun
“The best way I can explain it is like a boy coming down the stairs on Christmas morning to see all his presents under the tree,” said Texas native Hector Corominas.
However, one incident caught on video gave viewers a scare. A large balloon is seen colliding with some power lines, not far above the ground. The power lines give a spark. Luckily, the balloon doesn’t catch on fire.
“A @KOB4 viewer sent this in. They said this was near Ranchitos and 2nd street in the north valley. According to a then everyone was unharmed, but a scary moment as winds this morning made for some interesting landings during #BalloonFiesta2021,” local journalist Ryan Laughlin captioned the video.
Despite the scary moment, everyone involved is okay. The 49th Balloon Fiesta had an overall successful opening day, organizers said.
“It feels awesome. It feels right. It feels just, I don’t know, it just warms your heart to see people back out. It just feels normal and I think we all need a little bit of normal back in our lives,” said Kristen Juarez, a native of Albuquerque.
Fatal Hot Air Balloon Rides
While this incident was jarring, it turned out well for the passengers of the air craft. However, not every rider is so fortunate when hot air balloons collide with objects mid-air.
Earlier this summer, five people succumbed to injuries in New Mexico when another hot air balloon ran into some power lines. The balloon got tangled in the wires and this sparked a dangerous fire.
“Our officers are responding to a hot air balloon crash in the area of Central Ave and Unser Blvd where a balloon appears to have hit a power line,” the Albuquerque Police Department said at the time.
The aircraft’s basket caught fire and eventually fell onto a median in the road. Two women, two men and the balloon’s pilot died due to their injuries.
Albuquerque is famously dubbed the ‘hot air balloon capital of the world’ with its weeklong Balloon Fiesta. The festival has been a part of the state’s claim to fame since the 1970s.