Lots of people say that the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is on their bucket list. I have a confession to make…first off, I don’t have a bucket list; secondly – if I did, that event probably wouldn’t be on it. At least that was my thought process BEFORE attending the 2018 festival. Our friends, Wally and Brenda (fellow full-timers), asked if we wanted to join them for the ballon fiesta, so we said, “why not?”.
Jim had to jump through a few hoops to get our reservation solidified through the Monaco International RV Club, but it was well worth it. We were able, again thanks to Wally and Brenda, to park in the second row in the VIP RV parking lot – which was right next to the museum and across from the entrance to the field.
Dawn Patrol and Launch
Our first morning started before the crack of dawn. We bundled up and headed out to the field at around 6am to see the balloon glow and to watch the first balloons taking off. All I can say is that being right there on the field experiencing all of the different stages the balloon pilots and crews have to go through to launch, entirely changed my thoughts about attending the fiesta. Go if you have the chance! We were all looking up in childlike wonderment at all of the different characters, shapes, and colors of all those balloons (over 800 of them!).
Fireworks and Evening Glow
The nighttime events at the fiesta were just as awesome as the daytime ones. The fireworks display was a really good one with lots of unusual patterns, colors, and confetti-like formations. We had to leave Enzo in the RV with some soothing music playing because fireworks make him very nervous (poor little guy).
The evening balloon glow was more expansive than the morning glow – and much more lively. It makes sense that in the early morning things are a little more subdued and less balloons participate in the glow. But when the sun goes down, the party begins and there is music and a heart-warming atmosphere as the balloons fire up and get their glow on. So much fun!
We spent the long weekend enjoying time with friends, sharing good food, all while surrounded by hundreds of hot air balloons. Along with our great parking spot, our reservation included happy hours and a couple of meals out. It really was a joyful experience and we are so grateful for the opportunity to experience it. Thanks again to Wally and Brenda for the invitation and sponsorship!