We have always hear that the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta was amazing due to the large number of balloons participating. Their own site quotes numbers of between 500 and 700 balloons.
Here is some info taken direct from their 2013 FAQ web page –
Our signature event remains Balloon Fiesta—which, with over 600 balloons, is the largest ballooning event on earth, the most photographed event on earth, and the largest annual international event held in the United States.
and this in another FAQ on their same page…
How long does it take for the balloons to launch? All 500+ balloons should be launched in less than two hours.
So we organized a family group this year to attend the Fiesta in the hope of seeing the promised Hundreds of balloons.
Oh boy, we were very disappointed at the number of balloons in the “Mass Ascension” on the morning we attended. The most balloons I could see either in the air, or on the ground being readied for launch was just around 60.
What we saw was OK and very colorful. But we did not see the stated “Hundreds”.
In fact, a few years ago we attended the Hot Air Balloon parade in Longview, Texas. At that event there were close to 60 balloons.
We feel let down by Albuquerque and for sure will never go back for the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. On a score of 1 to 10, I give it a 1.
False and misleading advertising comes to mind. I wonder if there is a Better Business Bureau in Albuquerque ?