Board motorcoach at 4:30 a.m.; getting on/off motorcoach; traveling 40 miles for at least an hour over the course of the day (depending on traffic); walking over packed dirt, grass, and paved terrain at the Balloon Museum; standing and walking for up to two hours at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Balloon ascensions and flights are weather-dependent and may be cancelled at any time by Balloon Fiesta officials.
At the Chasers' Club at Balloon Fiesta Park.
Our coach will depart at 4:45 a.m. for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Park to experience the opening morning of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. From our fabulous vantage point on the Field, we are right in the action. We will be able to observe the Mass Ascension and explore the Field. Due to the large number of people in attendance and the size of the Park (crowds can exceed 100,000 people, and the launch field is 78 acres, the equivalent of 54 football fields put together), it's impractical to view all the events as a group; you may choose to stay near the Chasers' Club or walk around the field. . During Mass Ascensions all participating balloons launch in two waves as directed by "zebras," launch coordinators recognizable by their striped black-and-white shirts. NOTE: Balloon ascensions and flights are weather-dependent and may be cancelled at any time by Balloon Fiesta officials. At a designated time and place, we will meet our Group Leader for a short walk to the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, where we will have time for independent exploration of the many fascinating exhibits. We'll then board our motorcoach and depart for the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.
At the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is operated by the nineteen Pueblos of New Mexico, dedicated to preserving and perpetuating Pueblo culture as well as highlighting the accomplishments and evolving history of the Pueblo people. During our self-directed exploration, we’ll have opportunities to learn about New Mexico’s many different Pueblos as we view Pueblo-curated exhibits on the lower level. We’ll return to the hotel with some time to freshen up and relax before setting out for dinner and evening events at Balloon Fiesta.
At the Gondola Club at Balloon Fiesta Park.
This evening we will enjoy both the Twinkle Twinkle Glow™ and the AfterGlow™ Fireworks Show. The Balloon Glow is a special moment at dusk when tethered balloons ignite their burners and inflate without launching, glowing from within in a display of rich colors. Afterward, the AfterGlow™ Fireworks Show lights up the sky with a spectacular display that brings the evening to a perfect close. We will return to the hotel after the fireworks show concludes. Prepare for early morning field trip.