Updated: Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012, 3:16 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012, 2:27 PM EDT
Albuquerque, N.M. (WWLP) - Hundreds of balloons filled the New Mexico sky in a mass ascension at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is celebrating its forty-first year.
This year's theme is " Blaze a Trail." The event is considered to be the largest ballooning event in the world.
Thousands of people from across the globe come to fly and witness the colorful balloons in the sky.
This event features hundreds of balloons of all shapes, sizes and colors that take off in two waves and can last for up to two hours.
This year over five-hundred and fifty balloons will participate, representing nineteen countries.
After all the balloons are launched the chase crews follow and keep in touch with the pilot via two way radios.
Most balloons go miles away from the park, landing in washes, backyards and the desert.
When they return to the field many crews hold tailgating parties that include initiation rites for anyone who has made their first flight.
There are also games of skill that pilots compete in with their balloons such as a ring toss from the basket to poles mounted on the field.
In addition to the events at the park, Albuquerque and the surrounding area offer cultural attractions, food, entertainment, outdoor activities and shopping for every taste.
Whether you come for a day or the week, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
For more information about the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and other events in New Mexico, visit our sister station KRQE.com .