Yes, cows fly: Special Shape Rodeo at Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta


Sometimes you'd swear the balloons are looking at each other on Special Shape Rodeo day!

Here’s lookin’ atcha!

Cows do fly . . . and stagecoaches, bees, fireplugs.  Yoda, too!  Just get to Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta on Special Shape Rodeo day and stand among the critters.  Big critters, that is!

It's Special Shape Rodeo time!

It’s Special Shape Rodeo time!

In this third installment of our series on Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta (using our pictures from 2014), we’re showing you the absolute joy of standing on a launch site the size of 54 football fields gazing upward at some of the most unique, humorous, outrageous balloons anywhere.  Special Shape Rodeo day may be billed as a great day to bring the kids — and Albuquerque schools are out for Fall Break on October 8 and 9 this year when the rodeo lifts off — but it’s a great day to be any age at Balloon Fiesta.

You can’t believe you’re walking under a giant frog . . .

A crowd gathers under the big green frog at Balloon Fiesta 2014.

A crowd gathers under the big green frog at Balloon Fiesta 2014.

or that Humpty Dumpty isn’t ready to fall right on your head.

Of course, he's upside down. He's Humpty Dumpty!!

Of course, he’s upside down. He’s Humpty Dumpty!!

We even saw Elvis.  And then we heard people saying, “Elvis has left the field” as he floated into the blue. (They really did say that.  I’m not making this stuff up!)

Elvis as he leaves the field.

Elvis as he leaves the field.

Of course, the crowd was held captive by Yoda’s spell and those all-knowing eyes.

Ah, those eyes. Those Yoda eyes.

Ah, those eyes. Those Yoda eyes.

And the Dreamland cow “moo-ved” from being a mere blob of white nylon to a real puffed- up farm animal.

Moovin' on up: the Creamland Cow!

Moovin’ on up: the Creamland Cow!

What do you think of these three lined-up bees ready for take-off?

Three bees in a row!

Three bees in a row!

Are they chest-bumping?

Let's hit it and then buzz off.

Let’s hit it and then buzz off.

It’s a fun day — and everyone has favorite shapes they look for year after year.  What’s your favorite among the ones we were lucky enough to capture?

If you’re coming for Special Shape Rodeo days — or any day lift-off, for that matter — be sure to leave home early.  (Check the 2015 event schedule — they’re on for 7:00 AM on October 8 and 9.) This is one for the kiddos, but you grown-ups don’t want to miss any sights, sounds, and fun shapes either!

When special shapes rise -- what fun!!!

Special Shape Rodeo — what fun!!!

It’s a riot of color and odd combinations when special shapes hit the skies.  And all just part of the fun of Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Staring right at us!

You have to see this to believe it!

For more information:

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta event schedule:

Special Shape Rodeo information:

Oh, the Places We See series on Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta:

Best advice for Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta:  Go early.  Really early. 

Pulling strings to launch the big ones: Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta



About Oh, the Places We See

Met at University of Tennessee, been married for 47 years, and still passionate about travel whether we're volunteering with Habitat Global Village, combining work at Discovery with pleasure, or just seeing the world. Hope you'll join us as we try to see it all while we can!
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19 Responses to Yes, cows fly: Special Shape Rodeo at Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

  1. Pingback: Special Shape | Purathrive

  2. cindy knoke says:

    Stunning photography!

  3. Amy says:

    Wow, what an awesome 2014 series of the special annual event! I bet it’s going to be very, very crowded….

  4. Brilliant photo! My son would absolutely love it here!! What fun!

  5. What that looks amazing. I am thinking it has to be on the bucket list.

  6. Such a wonderful, creative event! I just have to go sometime. Thanks for bringing us more of the balloons. –Curt

    • In a small way this is like Burning Man in that creative souls have worked hard to bring something to the rest of us that we would never think of doing. Thanks so much for taking a look. Good to have you back blogging again. I just haven’t written on your posts but will. I love what you share from Burning Man.

  7. dawnkinster says:

    Love these. My folks went many many years ago. It’s always been something I’d like to see in person. Someday.

  8. jolynnpowers says:

    oh what fun that looks like! I think my favorite is the 3 bees… but all of them are wonderful and it is so nice to still see festivals like this. My home town once had a balloon race days festival but the public complained so much that it is nothing like what I watched as a kid. Yea for Albuquerque holding on to something fun!

    • So good to hear from you and to know that you appreciate festivals of this caliber. You’re right. Albuquerque is holding on to something fun and something BIG! If you click on their website, you might not believe what all there is to this Balloon Fiesta. It’s truly remarkable.

  9. Fabulous. It’s on my list of things to see and do! 🙂

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