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Albuquerque Balloon Festival

wallnutz

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Has anybody been? Wife has wanted to go for a long time, so she went ahead and made reservations for us and another couple to go this year and it happens to fall on our anniversary. Looking for the must do's and don'ts.
 

Looking Glass

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Has anybody been? Wife has wanted to go for a long time, so she went ahead and made reservations for us and another couple to go this year and it happens to fall on our anniversary. Looking for the must do's and don'ts.


It's going on now, right?
 

TCHB

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We had a good time. Nice hotel and bus into the event.
 

Ol Man

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Been there. Done that. An absolute blast. Have to go again. We parked in our motorhome for a number of days (don't remember how many). GO.
 

bilz

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Years back. Spent the night with my family. Woke up to the sound of a balloon trying to climb over the trees.
 

endobear

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Went a couple times as a kid 35+ years ago. Always like walking amongst them while they blow them up early in the morning and sending them up in huge groups.

Wife's company is a sponsor. She is taking the family down. We are doing the Saturday morning launch and the Balloon Glow VIP dinner deal Sunday night.
 

wallnutz

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Went a couple times as a kid 35+ years ago. Always like walking amongst them while they blow them up early in the morning and sending them up in huge groups.

Wife's company is a sponsor. She is taking the family down. We are doing the Saturday morning launch and the Balloon Glow VIP dinner deal Sunday night.
We are doing the early Saturday morning launch. Going back Saturday night for the glow deal, then the car show on Sunday morning.
 

playdeep

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Weather's s'posed to cooperate...
Huge crowds.
After the launch not a whole lot to do.
My advice banzai up to Santa fe.
Great food &drinks.
Lemme know if you do...I can dial you in .
 

pwerwagn

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What lot are you in? I'll be in the VIP north lot the 6th-9th. I also live here so if youre looking for things to do/places to eat, I can help there too. Normally, as a local, I hate the balloon fiesta. This year I am going to try to keep an open and positive outlook, so we got the RV spot to hopefully not have to deal with traffic.

Do the tram ride up the Sandias at a minimum. If you guys like museums/zoos, the Albuquerque Zoo and Aquarium is actually pretty nice. If youre into breaking bad, theres a neat little brba museum in old town. Theres also tons of good food around, depending on what you like.

--Jeff
 

wallnutz

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What lot are you in? I'll be in the VIP north lot the 6th-9th. I also live here so if youre looking for things to do/places to eat, I can help there too. Normally, as a local, I hate the balloon fiesta. This year I am going to try to keep an open and positive outlook, so we got the RV spot to hopefully not have to deal with traffic.

Do the tram ride up the Sandias at a minimum. If you guys like museums/zoos, the Albuquerque Zoo and Aquarium is actually pretty nice. If youre into breaking bad, theres a neat little brba museum in old town. Theres also tons of good food around, depending on what you like.

--Jeff
Unfortunately we are at an RV park about 10 miles away. We will probably drive over Saturday morning, then take the park and ride after that if the lots aren't to sketchy. I'll ask what park we are staying at. Probably looking for a nice restaurant for dinner Sunday night for our anniversary. A good suggestion on that would be awesome.
 

ChumpChange

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We went a few years back. Took the RV there on Saturday and ended up just sleeping overnight in the parking lot into Sunday. Quite a few people do it.
 

ridebig

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Unfortunately we are at an RV park about 10 miles away. We will probably drive over Saturday morning, then take the park and ride after that if the lots aren't to sketchy. I'll ask what park we are staying at. Probably looking for a nice restaurant for dinner Sunday night for our anniversary. A good suggestion on that would be awesome.
Can’t beat Ruth’s Chris. Also Savoy in the NE heights.
 

wallnutz

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What lot are you in? I'll be in the VIP north lot the 6th-9th. I also live here so if youre looking for things to do/places to eat, I can help there too. Normally, as a local, I hate the balloon fiesta. This year I am going to try to keep an open and positive outlook, so we got the RV spot to hopefully not have to deal with traffic.

Do the tram ride up the Sandias at a minimum. If you guys like museums/zoos, the Albuquerque Zoo and Aquarium is actually pretty nice. If youre into breaking bad, theres a neat little brba museum in old town. Theres also tons of good food around, depending on what you like.

--Jeff
Here is where we are staying. Good area?
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wallnutz

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What lot are you in? I'll be in the VIP north lot the 6th-9th. I also live here so if youre looking for things to do/places to eat, I can help there too. Normally, as a local, I hate the balloon fiesta. This year I am going to try to keep an open and positive outlook, so we got the RV spot to hopefully not have to deal with traffic.

Do the tram ride up the Sandias at a minimum. If you guys like museums/zoos, the Albuquerque Zoo and Aquarium is actually pretty nice. If youre into breaking bad, theres a neat little brba museum in old town. Theres also tons of good food around, depending on what you like.

--Jeff
Looks like we are 18 miles away west on the 40.
 

playdeep

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Traffic will be bad...always is.
Be prepared for that.
Food wise...
as Tim(Ridebig)stated,Ruth Chris or Savoy are good choices.
Something you might look into is doing a drive down the Turquoise Trail aka.back road to Santa fe.
Beautiful drive with a couple cool little old mining/ghost towns along the way.
Madrid is a blast couple great bars,especially the Mineshaft tavern.Excellent food/live music.
...place will be going off.
Personally I'd try&stay away from the biopark&aquatic center. They're very cool but with the rampant crime in the city&that area...I dunno I might pass.
If you need anything while in town p m.me .
 

wallnutz

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Traffic will be bad...always is.
Be prepared for that.
Food wise...
as Tim(Ridebig)stated,Ruth Chris or Savoy are good choices.
Something you might look into is doing a drive down the Turquoise Trail aka.back road to Santa fe.
Beautiful drive with a couple cool little old mining/ghost towns along the way.
Madrid is a blast couple great bars,especially the Mineshaft tavern.Excellent food/live music.
...place will be going off.
Personally I'd try&stay away from the biopark&aquatic center. They're very cool but with the rampant crime in the city&that area...I dunno I might pass.
If you need anything while in town p m.me .
Thanks!
How is the area we are staying in?
 

pwerwagn

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Thanks!
How is the area we are staying in?

Looks like youre out on 40 by camping world and what not, west side of town. You should be fine, it'll be a decent trek to the fiesta thru the big I with the traffic.

Vernons Speakeasy is another cool place for an anniversary type dinner. Spendy, but so are the others. I second the suggestion to hit up Madrid. Its where Wild Hogs was filmed. Its a cool little town. The Chile Relleno burger at the mineshaft is awesome.
 

playdeep

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Looks like youre out on 40 by camping world and what not, west side of town. You should be fine, it'll be a decent trek to the fiesta thru the big I with the traffic.

Vernons Speakeasy is another cool place for an anniversary type dinner. Spendy, but so are the others. I second the suggestion to hit up Madrid. Its where Wild Hogs was filmed. Its a cool little town. The Chile Relleno burger at the mineshaft is awesome.
Looks like he's at the top of 9 mile hill.
Area's not bad.Nice view of the city coming into town.
Good call on the Relleno burger at the mineshaft...it's friggin awesome!
Have you tried the Blackbird saloon in Cerrillo's?
They have great food as well.It's only 2 miles from Madrid but it's still a sleepy little ghost town that isn't as crowded as Madrid.
Over 20 movies have been filmed there...cool place.
 

wallnutz

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Traffic will be bad...always is.
Be prepared for that.
Food wise...
as Tim(Ridebig)stated,Ruth Chris or Savoy are good choices.
Something you might look into is doing a drive down the Turquoise Trail aka.back road to Santa fe.
Beautiful drive with a couple cool little old mining/ghost towns along the way.
Madrid is a blast couple great bars,especially the Mineshaft tavern.Excellent food/live music.
...place will be going off.
Personally I'd try&stay away from the biopark&aquatic center. They're very cool but with the rampant crime in the city&that area...I dunno I might pass.
If you need anything while in town p m.me .
Looks like he's at the top of 9 mile hill.
Area's not bad.Nice view of the city coming into town.
Good call on the Relleno burger at the mineshaft...it's friggin awesome!
Have you tried the Blackbird saloon in Cerrillo's?
They have great food as well.It's only 2 miles from Madrid but it's still a sleepy little ghost town that isn't as crowded as Madrid.
Over 20 movies have been filmed there...cool place.
Thanks guys! Any back ways into the fiesta or the interstates it? I have been the back way to Santa Fe, but it has been at least 25 yrs, might have to try it. Look forward to trying a few of these places out.
 

pwerwagn

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Good call on the Relleno burger at the mineshaft...it's friggin awesome!
Have you tried the Blackbird saloon in Cerrillo's?
I feel like anyone coming to alb needs to partake in at least 6 different green chile cheeseburgers lol.

I have not tried blackbird! I have driven by it. A few of my Santa Fe lake buddies have mentioned it...but I havent made the trek yet. For some reason, I have an aversion to Santa Fe. Ive lived in Alb my whole life and been to Santa Fe 2x lol.
 

pwerwagn

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Thanks guys! Any back ways into the fiesta or the interstates it? I have been the back way to Santa Fe, but it has been at least 25 yrs, might have to try it. Look forward to trying a few of these places out.

Not really that I can think of. That whole north west side of town gets dicey traffic-wise on a normal week day. I would have to say your best bet is just to leave early on the fiesta days, get there early and bundle up and wait. It *could* be faster to go Unser or Coors north to Alameda vs going thru the Big I, but I think its all just a crapshoot since Albuquerque's population doubles during this event.
 

wallnutz

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Not really that I can think of. That whole north west side of town gets dicey traffic-wise on a normal week day. I would have to say your best bet is just to leave early on the fiesta days, get there early and bundle up and wait. It *could* be faster to go Unser or Coors north to Alameda vs going thru the Big I, but I think its all just a crapshoot since Albuquerque's population doubles during this event.
Thanks for the info. We are just leaving Phoenix now.
 

wallnutz

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So far so good. Traffic did suck getting in this morning. Pretty cool to see all the balloons take off.
 

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Marios Metalworks

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Nice!

We took the bus in from Coronado Mall way too early this morning. The drone light show was pretty cool, we had a great spot watching dawn patrol then had some fresh coffee and christmas breakfast burritos waiting for mass ascension. Managed to get a nap in on the field too 👌🏽. We were back to the Airbnb and off to the dog park by 10:00am.

Heading to the night session tonight. The bus is $27 and includes the entry ticket. They have a private route/entrance too so life is easy.

Sandia peak tram and breakfast on the mountain tomorrow 👍🏽


Dawn Patrol lineup.
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This one was a trooper in the early am. She’s not a morning person nor a cold weather fan BUT this was a bucket list item for her. Vividly remember when she brought it up on our first date.
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HNL2LHC

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Nice!

We took the bus in from Coronado Mall way too early this morning. The drone light show was pretty cool, we had a great spot watching dawn patrol then had some fresh coffee and christmas breakfast burritos waiting for mass ascension. Managed to get a nap in on the field too 👌🏽. We were back to the Airbnb and off to the dog park by 10:00am.

Heading to the night session tonight. The bus is $27 and includes the entry ticket. They have a private route/entrance too so life is easy.

Sandia peak tram and breakfast on the mountain tomorrow 👍🏽


Dawn Patrol lineup.
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This one was a trooper in the early am. She’s not a morning person nor a cold weather fan BUT this was a bucket list item for her. Vividly remember when she brought it up on our first date.
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Awesome pictures and video Mario. Looks like something the wife and have to look into after all of this talk about it. Thanks to everyone and their suggestions. Looks like a blast!!!
 

Marios Metalworks

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@HNL2LHC thank you sir. def recommend the fiesta. I’ve always wanted to go and this morning didn’t disappoint. We’ve ridden a few balloons down in Phx but nothing compares to hundreds of balloons going up at once. It’s wild how close you can get. Just like the booing community, everybody here has been cordial.

Oshkosh is the next one on the aviation bucket list.

This is Aire Marc Too piloted by Tom Gough. Apparently the guy is a legend and this years fiesta is his 50th year flying.

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HNL2LHC

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@HNL2LHC thank you sir. I’d def recommend the fiesta. I’ve always wanted to go and this morning didn’t disappoint. I’ve have ridden a few balloons down in Phx but nothing compares to hundreds of balloons going up at once.

Oshkosh is the next one on the aviation bucket list.

This is Aire Marc Too piloted by Tom Gough. Apparently the guy is a legend and this years fiesta is his 50th year flying.

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Was just talking my mother about being in havasu for their balloon festival. Then she said that back in the 90s she went to one in Albuquerqu. I doubouted that she did it right and when asked what time she was up and about she said that she did the 4am drive to where they were taking off from. She said it was an amazing sight. Now I have to dial it in for 2023. Might make it a surprise to the wife. I can see now complaining about getting up at 4 am. LOL
 

Marios Metalworks

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Haha she knows the ropes! Not sure I’d surprise a significant other with something like this but it’s def unique.
 
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HNL2LHC

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I think that she would figure it out as to why we are waking up at 4am. But I might be able to fly under the radar as to why we are going to Albuquerque. I am sure once there she will know why we are there. It is also a bucket list to go up in a balloon. Are they doing that there as well? Looks like Oct 9-13 are the dates for 2023.

 

wallnutz

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If we do it again we will definitely try to get an RV space at the fiesta, the traffic sucks!
We would only spend two or three days so camping on top of others wouldn’t be so bad. Been a fun trip so far.
 

Marios Metalworks

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@wallnutz we booked during dawn patrol early Saturday morning. The website only allows you to book same day or next day so if you want to go Wednesday hop on the website at the crack of dawn Tuesday.

I second the RV spaces. That looked like the way to go for especially seeing everybody lined up in their own comfy camp chairs hold fresh beverages.

I will say the food and beverage prices inside the event were excellent. I was expecting $5-$8 more per item.


We’re home safe at her family’s ranch for a few days. Took a beautiful drive through Sierra Vista and cruised some back roads in Sanoita on the way down. These are her stomping grounds but I’ve really come to like it down here.

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endobear

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Any of you guys want 4 tickets for the tram today I've got you . Its sold out. We arent going to have time to do it before we lhave to leave town. $100 Venmo and I'll text you the tickets and receipt.
 

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Was just talking my mother about being in havasu for their balloon festival. Then she said that back in the 90s she went to one in Albuquerqu. I doubouted that she did it right and when asked what time she was up and about she said that she did the 4am drive to where they were taking off from. She said it was an amazing sight. Now I have to dial it in for 2023. Might make it a surprise to the wife. I can see now complaining about getting up at 4 am. LOL

OK........
when is the Balloon fest in Havi ??
 

pwerwagn

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Hatch, Arrey, Derry, that whole area of Southern NM is gorgeous. I love it down there, especially this time of the year.

Gotta get a burger at Sparkys while youre there!
@wallnutz
I second the RV spaces. That looked like the way to go for especially seeing everybody lined up in their own comfy camp chairs hold fresh beverages.

We’re home safe at her family’s ranch for a few days. Took a beautiful drive through Sierra Vista and cruised some back roads in Sanoita on the way down. These are her stomping grounds but I’ve really come to like it down here.
 

wallnutz

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Any of you guys want 4 tickets for the tram today I've got you . Its sold out. We arent going to have time to do it before we lhave to leave town. $100 Venmo and I'll text you the tickets and receipt.
Is there a time today you have to use them?
 

troostr

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Fortunately, we did it for 4 years straight in the RV. First time in the dirt lot across from the park with just water and 30 amp. After that we reserved to Presidents lot on the hill overlooking the park! That was my favorite! Short walk in, great views, but MF'er to get a spot! Then Friday night lights hit, we have a few more years (unless it lands on the weekend we play Cleveland hs) and then we'll be back!
Vernon's is awesome! There's a great restaurant inside the Crown Point hotel at the 40/25 intersection, The Cattleman or something
 

Sleek-Jet

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@wallnutz we booked during dawn patrol early Saturday morning. The website only allows you to book same day or next day so if you want to go Wednesday hop on the website at the crack of dawn Tuesday.

I second the RV spaces. That looked like the way to go for especially seeing everybody lined up in their own comfy camp chairs hold fresh beverages.

I will say the food and beverage prices inside the event were excellent. I was expecting $5-$8 more per item.


We’re home safe at her family’s ranch for a few days. Took a beautiful drive through Sierra Vista and cruised some back roads in Sanoita on the way down. These are her stomping grounds but I’ve really come to like it down here.

View attachment 1160014 View attachment 1160013 View attachment 1160015
SV and Sanoita are really great parts of AZ that many people don't know about. Elevations are higher than Phoenix or Tucson so it doesn't get so blasted hot like in the valleys.

Looks like a great trip.
 
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