Harvest Hosts Offers Trip Guide for RVers During Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Harvest Hosts is proud to be an Official Sponsor of the 50th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta! This event takes place October 1-9, 2022, and is expected to be the largest International Balloon Fiesta to date. Harvest Hosts will be hosting influencer meetups, evening activities, giveaways, and so much more.
Balloon Fiesta attendees can visit the Harvest Hosts booth on Main Street or the Harvest Hosts Rig in the VIP West RV lot for a chance to win prizes like exclusive discounts towards Harvest Hosts and Boondockers Welcome Memberships that offer unique RV camping at 7,000+ locations across the USA, Canada, and Mexico!
Harvest Hosts is an RV membership program that allows self-contained travelers to overnight at unique locations around the country including farms, wineries, museums, breweries, and more! With 4000+ host locations inside of our ever-expanding network, there’s an amazing experience waiting for everyone.
What Happens at the International Balloon Festival in Albuquerque?
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the largest hot-air balloon festival in the world. In 2021, there were over 500 balloons launched from six countries and over 800,000 people participated in this event. Because this is the 50th Anniversary, it is probably safe to say those numbers will be exceeded.
For the first nine days of October, participants will see the skies filled with beautiful hot-air balloons from around the world. You’ll have the chance for an up close and personal experience with these colorful balloons as they prepare for take off.
In addition to hot-air balloons floating throughout the day, there are special events like chainsaw carving competitions, skydivers, music and dance competitions, artisan shops, food vendors, and sponsors like Harvest Hosts putting on special activities and gatherings throughout the event.
When Do the Balloons Take Off or Show Off?
It is not an exaggeration to say these hot-air balloons are on display or preparing to take off all day, everyday. Starting as early as 5:45 AM, you’ll get the chance to see these balloons light up the sky. And don’t think this event is just about balloons taking off. They put on quite a show while being tethered to the ground too. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta’s site does have a complete schedule, but below you can find the main balloon-based events.
Dawn Patrol – Start at 5:45 AM
On Mass Ascension days, a group of hot-air balloons will launch around 6:00 AM—inflation begins around 5:45 AM—and fly until the sun comes up to display landing sites. This is a beautiful spectacle, but also practical. The Dawn Patrol functionally assesses the weather and gives fellow balloonists the chance to see what the wind speeds and different altitudes are doing for their future flights.
Morning Glow and Morning Mass Ascension – Starts at 6:30 AM
Following the Dawn Patrol’s launch, you will have the chance to catch the first glow of the day. Glow’s are moments when all the balloons light up at once. This spectacle is one of the best scenes each day. This takes place around 6:30 AM.
At 6:45 AM, you’ll have opening ceremonies with Mass Ascension directly after. Catching this moment in the morning—while the sun is rising—is very special. The view of hundreds of balloons filling the horizon with pops of color against the blue skies of New Mexico is truly a special and unforgettable experience.
If you don’t make it by 7:00 AM, don’t assume you missed it all. On the larger Mass Ascension days, you’ll see balloons filling and leaving for a couple of hours. Typically, the morning session will last until around 9:00 AM.
Night Glow or Twilight Twinkle – 6:00 PM
Similar to morning glow, you’ll have the chance to see balloons burn propane in unison against the sunset. This is often the most talked-about balloon event of the day with the balloons set against the high desert-mountain landscape.
How to Prepare and What to Expect?
This event is one of those events you’ll remember for a lifetime. But to make the memories all positive, there are some questions you may have. But here are some things we think you need to know and prepare for in advance.
Wake Up Early
Just because the first balloon takes off at 6:00 AM, doesn’t mean you should wait until then to leave. It is not uncommon for people to wake up at 3:00 AM to get moving for the day. The recommendation is to try to get there by 4:30 AM. This would help you beat the crowds, prepare for your Uber or Lyft not being on time, and deal with parking.
Dress in Layers
While New Mexico is a desert landscape, it is high-desert. The weather could be near freezing in the morning, mid-80’s in the heat of the day, and return to the 40’s in the evening. By dressing in layers, you’ll be sure to have a great day.
It’s an All Day Event
This event lasts all day long. While the majority of the balloon activity is in the morning and evening, there is plenty to do and experience throughout the day. While in New Mexico, there are certain foods you ought to try—New Mexican food is centered around the chiles. There are wood carving contests, sky divers setting off fireworks, vendors, and booths to visit—like the Harvest Hosts booth on Main Street, or the Harvest Hosts Rig in the VIP West RV lot for a chance to win prizes.
This is not very glamorous, but you need to know about it. Whenever you get thousands of people walking over the same grounds, you’ll eventually have some mud. We mention this to help you be prepared with the proper footwear—hiking boots anyone? And a change of socks could be a good idea too.
People and Traffic
With lots of people comes lots of traffic. There are several things you can do to help avoid some of this. Arrive early and plan on leaving late. Get a ride share, this is a great option, but realize they might be behind schedule because of the sudden need for drivers—and they’ll be stuck in the same traffic you are trying to avoid.
A great idea to deal with traffic is to either stay inside the festival with your RV or purchase a park and ride ticket. A park and ride ticket is probably the most economical way to avoid the crowds trying to get into the event. You will park at one of their three locations around town, get a bus transfer to the event, and bypass the crowds to a special entrance for the park and ride ticket holders.
Weather and Cancellations
With outdoor events, there is always the chance of Mother Nature causing some issues. With that in mind, plan on attending the event over the course of a couple days. This allows you to make sure you get a chance to see the balloons dance through the skies of New Mexico.
If you purchase tickets for a day when the balloons do not take off, you’ll be able to save that ticket for another day. So do not throw those tickets away. Hold onto them and use them another day.
Download the Balloon Fiesta App
Like everything these days, there is an App to help you navigate the event. It will give you everything you need to know about the festival, including updates about whether or not the conditions are right for balloons to take flight, rescheduled events, and where to be.
Utilize Your Harvest Hosts All-Access Membership
There are over 20 unique Host locations in the Albuquerque area. It might be too late to get an RV spot inside the event, but there may be some spots left at these local small businesses that would love to host you.
Find your next farm, winery, or golf course to host you and your self-contained RV for the 2022 International Balloon Fiesta.
Don’t Chase the Balloons
There can be a real temptation to flock to where you see the balloons launching from. The good news is balloons will work their way towards you. Each balloon takes up a large amount of space, and with the sheer number of balloons launching during Mass Ascension or inflating during different Glows, you’ll soon be close to them. This will help you avoid the feeling of FOMO, and feel comfortable knowing you’ll get your up-close and personal experience soon enough.
Harvest Hosts will be hosting influencer meetups, evening activities, giveaways, and so much more during the entire International Balloon Fiesta. We will have two locations. Our booth will be on Main Street and our Harvest Hosts Rig will be in the VIP West RV lot.
Visitors to Harvest Hosts’s booth at the International Balloon Fiesta can expect to:
- Learn more about how you can camp at unique spots with Harvest Hosts.
- Have the opportunity to win prizes from Harvest Hosts brands, including Harvest Hosts Classic Memberships, exclusive discounts, and even some surprise partner discounts.
- Meet with Harvest Hosts RV travel experts to learn how you can RV camp in some of the most fabulous locations in the USA!
We look forward to meeting you while these balloons light up the sky come October.
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Balloon Fiesta is a must! I’ve lived here 32 years and still get excited to see them every year. Be sure to fight the traffic and crowds to get to the grounds…it is so worth it! There’s nothing like eating a breakfast burrito, sipping hot chocolate and taking in the beautiful balloons up close..you can even talk to the pilots and chase crew….. so special!!!
Fiesta should be on everyone’s bucket list. It is AWESOME!
Sounds like a lot of fun 🤩