I get asked a lot about what the different event types are, so I’ve provided a handy list of what you’ll see at each event and which days those events are scheduled:
Dawn Patrol Show (October 5-13)
The Dawn Patrol Show is not only beautiful but practical. The Dawn Patrol began at Balloon Fiesta in 1978. Dawn Patrol pilots take off before sunrise and fly until landing sites become visible, giving other balloonists an idea of wind speeds and direction at different altitudes. On Mass Ascension days, the Dawn Patrol puts on a show with a choreographed inflation and launch set to music.
Krispy Kreme Morning Glow (October 5, 6, 9, 12, and 13)
A tradition established in 2010, balloonists participate in a morning balloon glow. Immediately following the launch of the Dawn Patrol Show, a “baker’s dozen” balloons light up the field with a balloon glow. They then launch with the rest of balloons on the field at sunrise.
Mass Ascensions (October 5, 6, 9, 12, and 13)
A breathtaking premier morning event, the Mass Ascensions feature hundreds of colorful hot air balloons launching to the skies in two waves. The dazzling and vibrant show can last up to two hours.
America’s Challenge™ (October 5)
America’s Challenge™ Gas Balloon Race was first held at the Balloon Fiesta in 1995. Gas balloonists come from around the world to Balloon Fiesta Park to participate in the event, the team that flies the longest distance wins.
Special Shape Rodeo™, Glowdeo™ (October 10 and 11)
The most whimsical of all flying events, the Special Shape Rodeo™ and Glowdeo™ were started in 1989 and showcase captivating airborne works of art that include a penguin, frog, owl, fish aquarium, and much more. Balloons take to the air for the Special Shape Rodeo™ and during the Glowdeo™ balloons stay grounded and inflate.
Flight of the Nations (October 9)
This special ballooning event, which started in 1998, highlights the international flair of Balloon Fiesta; Flight of the Nations showcases all of the participating countries during a mid-week flight. Balloon teams representing each country carry their nation’s flag in the flight that precedes the mid-week Mass Ascension. This year it is anticipated there will be 20 countries represented at Balloon Fiesta.
Twilight Twinkle Glow™, Balloon Glow & Night Magic Glow™ (October 5, 6 and 12)
The Twilight Twinkle Glow™, Balloon Glow and Night Magic Glow™ light up Balloon Fiesta Park. Just before dusk, balloons are inflated and tethered, the Balloonmeister then orders ignition and the burners fill the balloons and the sky with a kaleidoscope of brilliant colors. Walk amongst the balloons and take in the brilliance.
The evening concludes with a spectacular laser show and fireworks show.
AfterGlow™ Fireworks Show (October 5, 6, 10, 11 and 12)
After the launch field is clear of balloons, on scheduled evenings, the AfterGlow™ Fireworks Show begins.