By Staci Bostic-Baros, staff reporter
Photo by Hailey Tolleson
Balloon Fiesta Park in Albuquerque was ready this week and quietly anticipating opening festivities Oct. 6.
Fall is officially upon us. For CNM students and staff, that means Balloon Fiesta is right around the corner. With morning and evening mass ascensions and special shapes glows, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta lasts nine days this year. It starts this Saturday, Oct. 6, with the last session on Sunday, Oct. 14.
Park & Ride tickets are a way to save some money and avoid the headache of Balloon Fiesta traffic. At $12 in advance, Park & Ride covers admission and transportation to and from Balloon Fiesta Park, saving $13 over driving yourself.
This year features a laser light show during the morning glow each morning at 6:30 a.m., followed by the iconic mass ascensions at 7:00 a.m. The mass ascension is a massive launch of all the participating balloons in the morning sessions and is a spectacle of colors, sights and sounds. Special shapes balloon events are set up this year in both morning and evening sessions on Thursday, Oct. 11, and Friday, Oct. 12. Kid’s Day is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 11, with special shapes balloons and performances by Fastrax Sky Divers during both sessions.
Balloon glows were first invented in Albuquerque in 1979, after local hot air balloonists inflated their balloons on Christmas Eve as a thank-you to residents. Now known as the Twilight Twinkle Glow, the Night Magic Glow and the Special Shapes Glowdeo, they offer visitors the magical experience of hot air balloons brilliantly lit from within, glowing brightly in the desert night sky. Balloon Glow evenings, followed by huge fireworks displays, are historically among the fiesta’s most popular events. Food, beverages and kid-friendly activities are planned. Music also is scheduled on many evenings, and a Music Fiesta on Saturday, Oct. 13. You can find event schedules, ticket information and more at BalloonFiesta.com. See you there!