The International Balloon Festival, which is held annually in the city of León, Guanajuato, this Friday reopened its doors to the public after they banned access last year due to the health crisis caused by the pandemic.
The event, which has been held uninterruptedly since 2001 except for the 2020 edition, is considered one of the three most important internationally.
“There have already been several times that I had seen on television and the Internet, and now that I had the opportunity with my partner, we came. I have found the attention of the ‘staff’ excellent, everything very well, the showy, the sizes, the colors, the shapes, everything“said Denis García, a visitor from the state of Quintana Roo.
The International Balloon Festival in León
During the event, which lasts four days, 200 hot air balloons from 20 countries will fly, including the United States, Russia, Brazil, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Spain.
In addition, there will be night shows with artists such as the Mexican singer Alejandro Fernandez, the French musician DJ Snake and Amalia Hernández’s Ballet Folklórico de México.
One of the main characteristics of the festival is that some of the balloons have popular character figures. This year, for example, one of the ships has the figure of “Freddy El Zorro”, which appears in the cartoon “Peppa Pig”.
Vanessa Rubio, along with her husband and young daughter, visited the festival traveling from the state of Nayarit, located just over 400 kilometers from León.
“Right now that the girl is small, she gets very excited anyway. In whatever way, at whatever age they want, it’s a worthwhile show“, assured Rubio.
The star of International Balloon Festival
The star of the event is a balloon that will fly outside of Brazil for the first time. It is the colorful “Lovely Dog”, which reproduces the work of the same name by Brazilian pop artist Romero Britto, whose work has been exhibited in more than 100 countries.
In 2020, and at one of the most critical moments of the pandemic in Mexico, the organizers, in conjunction with local authorities, determined that the event will be held without access to the general public and with the participation of only 100 pilots.
In addition, it was held on a golf course instead of the city’s Metropolitan Park, a 337-hectare protected natural area that is the traditional venue for the festival.
However, now the situation is very different. The sustained decline in infections and deaths from COVID-19 allowed the event to open to the public.
According to data from the Guanajuato Secretariat of Tourism, the expectation is that around 180 thousand people attend the festival, which could leave an economic spill of approximately more than 205 million pesos.