Saturday, October 11, 2014

Balloon Fiesta 101

We should first start out by explaining a little bit about the Fiesta for those readers who aren't familiar. Here are the Top 10 Things to Know.

1. The Fiesta takes place each year, for about 10 days in October.

2. All the real ballooning action takes place at dawn (5AM) and dusk (7PM). In between, there's not much to stick around for besides the typical country fair type of activities.

3. Each day has a Morning Glow and an Evening Glow where the balloons are inflated and lit up like gigantic jack-o-laterns.

4. On weekends and one day during the week, they also have a Mass Ascension where hundreds of balloons take off into the air. These are what most people come out to see.

5. General Admission tickets are $8/person. Kids under age 12 are free though. They can be purchased the day of as you enter. They even take credit cards. Definitely no need to purchase in advance.

6. Depending on the weather conditions, the Glows and the Mass Ascensions can be cancelled just before they're scheduled or suddenly moved up. So if you're planning on visiting, you may want to be around for a few days just in case. During the few days we were there, they cancelled Mass Ascensions 3 out of the 4 sessions: Fri PM (cancelled), Sat AM (mass ascension), Sat PM (cancelled) and Sun PM (cancelled). However, they almost always do the fireworks shows, which is honestly one of the best I've seen.

7. Especially given the weather volatility, the Balloon Fiesta's Website, iPhone App and Twitter are (a) not that accurate nor (b) updated frequently enough to truly be helpful. See below for some of their tweets on Saturday night ... and the replies.

8. Traffic and parking can be a nightmare as several people took to Twitter to complain that they were stuck for 2 hours in traffic and missed the events. Get there early.

9. They sell food, but it's carnival / country fair type options. Don't expect anything that healthy, so best to pack your own snack.

10. Most importantly - it can get really cold in the mornings. We arrived between 5:30-6:00AM on Saturday and while it started out being fine, you soon become very thankful your parents were anal enough to dig out your winter jacket, scarfs, mittens and a blanket buried in your closet back in NYC.

No comments:

Post a Comment