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Old 05-17-2018, 03:01 PM   #1
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Albuquerque, NM Balloon Festival

We're looking for a place to go for a month or so in October. The Albuquerque Balloon Festival is one of the choices.

I'd appreciate comments (pro and con) about the event. There seems to be 3 or 4 campgrounds in the area, how far ahead do reservations have to be made?

Comments and ideas are appreciates.

Larry C
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Old 05-17-2018, 03:55 PM   #2
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PM Ken to see if there have been cancelations.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f47/...-164992-4.html

Good luck with your plan. Pat

OK - the early bird gets the best view - traffic is horid around launch time - think stopped. If you are not staying with the AS group on site, call for reservations with the local parks now. You may be too late, but try. There is a rumor that you can get up at 2:00am and roll over to the BF event area. You may get access without paying for parking and you may miss all the other folks. If you wait until 6:00am, your ability to access the event site goes down a bunch and by 7:00am, you are toast. Best to take the shuttle. Easier to get access in the afternoon to see the evening events.

Best events are the morning launches. Not every day is perfect and some can be a bust. Assume you need to be there for three mornings to get a good idea of the event. You can watch from parking lots around the event area, but it's not the same. The population of balloons will be greatly reduced. A lot of balloons land in the event lots. Some inflate and never launch. Lots of variability on a day to day basis.
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:08 PM   #3
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Larry,
I might have a spare pass for parking 5 days in VIP parking.... That's right at the field. Hang tight friend!
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:07 PM   #4
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FYI/ I am hosting a rally for Estancia Punkin Chunkin in Estancia NM 3rd weekend in October, week after Ballon Fiesta.

I tried to get them to move the Balloon Fiesta to Estancia so we could have a combined event shooting pumpkins at the balloons, but that idea went over like your proverbial lead balloon,

There are different classes of punkin chunkers, a carnival and a parade. You and your Airstream can be in the parade and throw candy at the children, or just watch.

Free dry camping on my property.
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:45 PM   #5
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Count us in!
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:04 AM   #6
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HrLola

We’ve been to the balloon fiesta twice. Book now for the fiesta. Camping is set up on the fairgrounds across the street from the launch area. Shuttle buses run back and forth all day. Dry camping but you do have the option of fresh water delivered to your site as well as the honey wagon. You can come and go as you please. Extremely well organized. It’s a must see but weather will dictate its success.
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:29 AM   #7
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Last year we reserved a standard RV site for the BalloonFest. We arrived in the morning on Wednesday, for the second half of the event. They seemed to have a fair number of last minute spots available and I was able to upgrade to the "Box" view, which I recommend.


http://www.balloonfiesta.com/guest-guide/rv-information
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:10 PM   #8
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Book Now!

Book now.
You may be able to get into the south RV parking still.

Get three day pass. Plan on being in the launch area by 5:30 AM.
Be sure your camera is charged and ready. Take a blanket and light jacket.

Sun up is at 6:15. First launch will be about 7:30 if weather permits .

Use the shuttle system. Comes with the tickets.

One spot to see the whole event is the patio of the AIBF Museum. See the museum! Awesome.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:35 PM   #9
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According to the Fiesta website, they are no longer taking waitlist reservations as the list has over 800 at this time. This is such a popular event that everything in the area will be booked.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
-- snip -- no longer taking waitlist reservations -- snip --
In the prior thread, Ken said that report was not about the AS group. So checking the options is worth the time it takes. AS group sponsored by the Four Corners WBCCI Unit, the BF sponsoring body that puts on the BF event, and the local RV campgrounds, are all different resources for the AS RVer to use.

The one thing that you might consider is that plans change. We observed several empty sites in the AS only rally area. It was my assumption, that the unused sites were due to cancelations. The VIP campground which is basically the same area was very poorly populated. Expect that is due to higher cost, but may be reserved for volunteers, special groups or the balloons to land. Additionally, all may have changed for 2018.
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:26 PM   #11
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Actually if the conditions look good for flying that day, the FIRST launch will be the smaller group of balloons of the Dawn Patrol launching before sunrise. THAT is a thing to see as well, both as they rise all lit by the burners, and when the sun touches them before it gets light on the ground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jekerrville View Post
Book now.
You may be able to get into the south RV parking still.

Get three day pass. Plan on being in the launch area by 5:30 AM.
Be sure your camera is charged and ready. Take a blanket and light jacket.

Sun up is at 6:15. First launch will be about 7:30 if weather permits .

Use the shuttle system. Comes with the tickets.

One spot to see the whole event is the patio of the AIBF Museum. See the museum! Awesome.
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Old 05-18-2018, 02:22 PM   #12
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Balloon Fiesta

Great advice. If you aren’t able to find a spot onsite, consider staying in a surrounding park and drive in to a shuttle pick up point. There should be a map online of the locations. They begin running very early, and seem to have priority routing to the parade ground. You’re dropped off at the entrance to the parade grounds and are shuttled back when you’re done. We stayed the minimum 3 days onsite in the Presidents RV Park, but the Fiesta merits the effort to shuttle in if that's your only option. Good luck!
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:26 PM   #13
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There are NO cons to going to the Balloon festival. What a great experience.
Stayed in one of the dry sites at Festival grounds. Had a great time. Everyone should see this spectacle at least once in there lifetime.
Albuquerque is a great town, plus side trips to Carlsbad caverns and Guadalupe Mountains NP is a bonus.

If you stay on the grounds the balloons will probably end up flying right over where you are camped and may even land in the field next to where you are camped.

Don't give it any further thought, GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:42 AM   #14
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Balloon Fiesta Pics

Worth every minute! A few pics; Dawn Patrol, Morning Launch, & three that landed among us.

FYI - Keep your antenna down during the show to prevent ripping a balloon if one lands on you
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