October 13th, 2015

halloween sandra

When attending the world's most-photographed event, you take a lot of photos

I grew up in Albuquerque, and the Balloon Fiesta was just a regular part of life. Ever year, there was a 9-day period (one week and the surrounding weekends) where a ton of hot air balloons would launch every morning. The event itself wasn't really a big deal; you could go to the field and watch, but all you really accomplished was getting close, and you had to bring your own hot chocolate in a thermos. There was always traffic because people would stop and watch, but I can't remember it being particularly difficult to get to where they were launching or anything.

I can't say conclusively why it's such a big event now. It might be because Kodak started sponsoring it, or because Albuquerque's grown so much. Social media obviously makes events take on a new light. Whatever the case, I was surprised to arrive this year at the new, officially-set-aside park that even has a museum, and see just how big it's all become. All nine days have morning and evening programs, there's a gigantic food and merchandise vendor area, an artist vendor tent, a big play area with a zip line, and even a chainsaw carving contest. And if the park and the parking lots didn't already seem huge enough, there's a giant ramp leading into it for people who utilized park-and-rides all around town, and the police set up really nice traffic control leading from, and back onto, the freeways.

Garrett came up with an excellent plan to get the most bang for our buck, and despite a few kinks we couldn't do anything about, we had a great time.

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