There may be delays in room readiness as the hotel is usually full all during the event. (Please note that this is a preliminary itinerary and may be subject to change. It is possible that some Balloon Fiesta activities may be cancelled due to inclement weather and wind speed. We will make every effort to provide alternate activities should that be the case.
Since this is a large program, most activities will be split into two sections. Both sections will participate in all activities, but times and days may vary from those shown in this itinerary.)Dinner: Dinner at the hotel from 6:00 to 7:00 PMEvening: Program orientation and introductions in hotel meeting room from 7:00 to 8:00 PMLodging: MCM EleganteMeals Included: Dinner
Known as "Sky City" because of its location atop a 400' mesa, Acoma Pueblo has a fascinating history. The pueblo was established at or near its present location as early as A.D. 900. The first non-Native to enter Sky City was Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, in 1540. The pueblo was virtually decimated by Don Juan de Onate in 1599. The Spanish hacked off one foot each from all Acoma males older than twenty-five years of age, and sent the younger males and females to Mexico as slaves.
The injustice of this tragedy still burns in the hearts of the people of Acoma. Guides at the pueblo today will mention that, in the years following their capitulation, the people of Acoma occasionally rose up and gave offending Catholic priests "flying lessons" off the mesa.
In 1982, Acoma became one of the first pueblos to establish a casino-hotel complex.
Most residents live off the mesa, and only thirty or so people reside full time in Sky City.
It is an artistic community and is a primary Pueblo pottery center.Dinner: Dinner and wine tasting at Gruet WineryEvening: Return to the hotel, followed by evening at leisure (There are no scheduled ascensions at Balloon Fiesta Park this evening.)Lodging: MCM EleganteMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This morning's scheduled events include the Flight of the Nations Mass Ascension (weather permitting).
The "international" part of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has been a tradition since the event's earliest days. In 1973 and 1975, the Balloon Fiesta hosted the World Hot-Air Balloon Championships. The Balloon Fiesta has also played host to the world's two most prestigious gas ballooning events, the Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett (twice, in 1993 and 1999) and the World Gas Ballooning Championships (1994).
The Flight of the Nations honors pilots from all the nations participating in Balloon Fiesta. Today's mass ascension begins with flights by representatitve pilots from each country, who launch as their country's national anthem is played, flying their national flag.
Mass Ascensions - a launch of all the participating balloons - have been a feature of Balloon Fiesta since its earliest days and are the most spectacular display of sound and color in all of aviation. During mass ascensions, balloons launch in two waves. Launch directors, known as "zebras" because of their black-and-white-striped outfits, serve as "traffic cops," coordinating the launch so balloons leave the field in a safe and coordinated manner.
At 9:00 AM, we'll return to the hotel for some time at leisure.
Depart at 11:00 for the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.Lunch: Lunch at the Indian Pueblo Cultural CenterAfternoon: Visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, followed by leisure time at the hotelDinner: Dinner at the hotelEvening: Evening at leisureLodging: MCM EleganteMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We'll then depart for Coronado Historic Site. In 1540, the Spanish explorer, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, wintered at a village on the west bank of the Rio Grande; the excavated ruins of this ancient Anasazi Pueblo have been preserved here. Hundreds of rooms can be seen, and visitors can descend a ladder into the restored kiva, once the site of sacred rites, and see unique multicolored murals in the monument's small archaeological museum.
From there, we'll go to Balloon Fiesta Park for this evening's session.Dinner: Dinner will be on your own at the Balloon Fiesta.Evening: This evening, we'll see the Special Shape Glowdeo.
Special shape balloons are defined as any balloon that doesn't conform strictly to the normal rounded balloon shapes. Some shapes are simple - pointed ears and whiskers added to a "regular" balloon to make it into a kitty's head. Others - the flying houses, cars, cacti, chili ristras, bottles, cans, critters, and so on - are computer-designed engineering marvels costing tons of money.
The very first shapes appeared at Balloon Fiesta in the 1970s, and became increasingly common - and crowd favorites - in the 1980s.
In 1989, the Balloon Fiesta created the Special Shape Rodeo to specially showcase these incredible creations.
The Special Shape Glowdeo features these fabulous balloons in a static display as pilots fire their burners and light up at the same time. These are, perhaps, the most beautiful single moments in all of Balloon Fiesta.
The Glowdeo will be followed by the AfterGlow Fireworks Show, one of New Mexico's most spectacular fireworks display.
Bus returns to hotel around 9:00 PM.Lodging: MCM EleganteMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Return to hotel about 10:30 AM for some leisure time before lunch.Lunch: Lunch at the hotelAfternoon: Afternoon class on the cuisine of New MexicoDinner: Dinner and closing comments in the hotel dining roomLodging: MCM EleganteMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel offers free shuttle service to Albuquerque International Sunport.
Checkout time is 12:00 noon.Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in hotel dining room between 6:30 and 9:00 AM.
Hotel check-out no later than 12:00 PM.Meals Included: Breakfast