Out of all the known balloon festivals, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Great Pershing Balloon Derby, Spring Balloon Festival, London International Hot Air Balloon Festival and Arizona Air Balloon Festival are perhaps the most prominent, attracting visitors worldwide.
The Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is an air balloon festival that features a gathering of thousands of balloonist from all over the world. It is held in New Mexico during the first week of October. Started first in 1972 as a gathering of 13 balloonists, the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is regarded today as the largest air balloon festival of its kind in the world. The air field provides 100,000 spectators with the opportunity to witness the inflation and other procedures of the hot air ballooning.
For many years this air balloon festival has been sponsored by Kodak, which explains the title Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, displayed in ads. Currently the city plans to construct Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, which aims at recounting the general history of ballooning.
Another air balloon festival is the Great Pershing Balloon Derby, named in honor of General John Pershing. It is celebrated each Labor Day weekend in Missouri. It is held together with a number of other fests, like parades, beauty contests and concerts. Established in 1977, the derby is held at the Myron Peacher Memorial Launch Site between Laclede Brookfield.
Founded in 1983, the London International Hot Air Balloon Festival is held annually in London, Ontario on Simcoe Day weekend. Harris Park is the traditional site for the balloon launches alongside with a laser show and concerts.
Another popular air balloon festival is the Arizona Balloon Festival, which gathers about 50 balloon teams and more than 25,000 spectators worldwide. The three day festival held in Chandler, Arizona features morning balloon launches and landings in addition to a traditional hot air balloon race. The festival is seen as the largest fundraiser for Sun Lakes Crown Rotary, which uses the funds raised to make endowments for the local charities, including St. Mission School of the Gila Indian Reservation, Chandler Community Center, and a homeless shelter in Phoenix New Day, and a medical clinic in Guadalupe Las Fuentes. The activities of the festival take place at Tumbleweed Park in Chandler. Prices for the show make $5-7. More than 50 hot air balloons participate annually in the Hare & Hound Races.
Organized in 1977, the Colorado Spring Balloon Festival is seen today as the longest and the largest running hot air balloon festival in the State of Colorado. It is an annual family holiday, held in Memorial Park of Pikes Peak Avenue every Labor Day Weekend. The collection of nearly 100 ht air balloons is scheduled for three days: Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Since 2002 the Colorado Springs Balloon Festival has been ranked among the top 100 events according to the Events Media Network. Today the festival aims at improving quality of life, attracting both international, national and regional tourists. It sees its mission in providing free family entertainment, as well as raising money for charity and nonprofit organization.