The mornings were definitely cold but according to the people reporting from the launch field, the conditions were perfect for launching the balloons. Tuesday was the best day for us because the balloons passed right over us.
They are huge and loud. Buck (Jeri and Terry’s bulldog) hated them. I felt really bad for him because he just shook and hid if he saw any of them. Our pups could have cared less.
These are the balloons that offer the balloon rides to the public. We didn’t price the rides because none of us were interested, but I think the cost is between $300 and $400.
1975 was the first year that people were allowed on the field with the balloons.
Yoda kind of snuck in on this picture.
In 1986 they held the first glow. There wasn’t a glow the three nights we were there.
In 1978 they had the first “key grab”. A set of keys was hooked to a really high pole and the balloonists would try to grab the keys as their balloon floated by. It sounds easy but remember, the pilots have very little control of their balloon. The wind is in charge. It wasn’t until 1981 that they finally had a winner. The prize was a brand new car.
Attending this balloon festival should be on everybody’s bucket list. For us though, it was a one time thing. I know that being able to volunteer down on the launch field is a lot of fun, but neither Jim nor I are physically able to help anybody. So we did not go down to the launch field.
After the balloons are done launching (and believe me, it is beyond incredible), everything shuts down including the vendors. Jeri and I talked about what a shame it was that there weren’t any vendors out in the RV parking area. There is probably some reason for it but I sure don’t know why not.
So from 9:00 a.m. to sunset, there is almost nothing to do at the venue. The balloon museum is open but Jim and I had already explored it with our kids. In fact, we have explored most of Albuquerque with Steve and Jen over the years.
That meant for most of the time we found it rather boring. Like I said, they did not have a glow any of the nights we were there. The week-ends are when most events take place. But that is when all the crowds show up. And I don’t do crowds. Thursday and Friday all the kids are out of school and they take over the fiesta.
It is definitely a must see but we won’t do it again.