Early October every year the International Balloon Fiesta goes down with a bang in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This event is pretty amazing and should be something on the bucket list. The event runs for 8 days and is the biggest event that happens in Abq all year so the whole town shows up. You can even pull up your van and camp starting at $35 a night.
The two easiest and cheapest ways to get to the park are by bus via the Park and Ride or Bike. The Park and Ride is a good deal it's $15 per person, they get you there quick and you don't have to pay to park which is around $10. If you go this route get there early before the crowds. Biking is my favorite way to get to the FIesta. Hit the street early in the morning and catch the sunrise at the park watching hundreds of Balloons take flight. Your best bet for the goods at the Fiesta are on the Special Shapes Rodeo days.
There is also a night glow event with fireworks. I'm personally more of a fan of the Morning event but it's something worth checking out. Don't forget your camera they claim this is one of the most photographed events in the world.
Although I've never done it. I bet the best way to experience this event is from the air in a balloon. I'm sure in town there are plenty of outfitters. There's more on balloon rides here on their website.