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Old 11-22-2011, 07:57 AM   #1
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Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Hello, we are looking for places to experience and visit in 2012. One of the events we are looking at is the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Looking at their website I see that there is camping available at the festival.

My question for any of you that have been there before is how many days would you recommend to attend the festival? 2?4? all of them?
Also, have any of you done the festival with a caravan (RV tour) company? If so ho was it and would you recommend it again?

Thanks for taking the time..
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:19 PM   #2
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We loved the balloon festival. It was 9 days but looks like 2012 is down to 7 days. The 1st weekend is the fullest activities. You want to see the Mass Launch early one morning. Also one evening go to the Nite glow. We don't care for Carvans as we like to pick and choose when, where we go.
Parking a MH or any RV is expensive. We stayed just south of the Festival grounds at the Bernallio Sherriff's Posse rodeo grounds. They have 30/50 amp service and water plus showers if you choose to use them. Very secure with the sherriffs posse members coming and going. You can sit outside your RV in AM and watch the launches and often see the ballons pass right over your head. Also go to Murphy's Mule barn for a meal. Nothing matches but the food is terrific. Another resturnat that is famous is "The range" in downtown Bernallio. Very convienent to getting around. There is also a indian Casino where dry camping is allowed, 1st come 1st parked. Be sure to take a side trip to Santa Fay and see Loretto Chapel. And last if you like the ole west you may want to go south to Ruidosa, NM for the cowboy snyposium about that time of year. we live in FL but, if NM had access to the gulf of Mexico we'd move. good travels. ed
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:23 PM   #3
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Hi Bug512,
For an event like this (if it is your first time) consider the clubs you belong to or maybe the owner's club of the manufacturer of your RV, if they have a club. The organized events may have the best parking reserved. I know the Newmar Kountry Klub has parking right next to the launch site. Can't beat those seats.

If the organizer has parking next to the launch site, give them a try.
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:44 PM   #4
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balloon festival Nm.

We used the Adventure caravan organization our first time there at the balloon festival. Great service, extra tours and eats plus reserved sites with electric hook ups down wind from the launch sites.
We been there several times and have stayed out several miles but last time we again stayed at the events camping site but without electricity. Got a bit cool at night but transportation to events was great and the dump, water fill up service was reasonable. The people that run the RV parking are great folks and I would stay there again.
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:45 PM   #5
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From ABQ Balloon Fiesta Virgins... Until Now

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug512 View Post
Hello, we are looking for places to experience and visit in 2012. One of the events we are looking at is the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta...
DW still can't get the smile off her face! She was like a lil' kid, among all the balloons.

This is one place where lawyers haven't ruined it: spectators mingle among the crews, people get jostled by the balloons, it's all great fun.

We elected to do the VIP accommodations, which means we're right next to the venue but sans electricity or water. That worked just fine, even with a stinky generator running next door.

There is something about balloon crews that sets them apart from the rest of aviation. Okay, they're party animals. Fun, eccentric, great to be around. You haven't lived 'til you've set the alarm for 4:30AM only to walk down the hill from your rig with coffee in hand to find that the midway is alive and buslting, crews are staking out launch spots, that 500 people are meandering along the main thoroughfare, buying coffee and danish, breakfast tacos, etc. And, balloons are starting to come to life, of course.

I enjoyed the volunteers who welcomed us, the folks who manned the museum, all the people at the show. Everyone seems to be in the savor-the-moment mode, and that is contagious. And, I've never seen so many RVs together in one spot before in my life!
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:52 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the replies.

So during the day after the morning launch what is there to do?

How many days (or nights) would you recommend staying?
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Old 11-23-2011, 10:43 AM   #7
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My how i wish they had this earlyier on the year.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug512 View Post
Thanks for all the replies.

So during the day after the morning launch what is there to do?

How many days (or nights) would you recommend staying?
We usually attend 2-3 days at the fiesta grounds, the rest of the events we leave for next visit. We do stay there for a week, and use the extra time for sightseeing - anything within a day-trip. Old town Albuquerque is a must-see, and takes us a full day at least.
We always stay at the Air Force Base and take the shuttle to/from the grounds. The shuttle drivers know the fastest route, which is designated by the Alb. police. There are few places to sit down and rest, so I carry a backpack with our eats and drinks, and two tripod folding seats; there is still room to pack our coats inside-which are necessary in the mornings and after dusk.
Read the fiesta website closely and watch the weather forecasts. Tickets are not refundable.
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