Indian Pueblo Cultural Center's balloon makes fiesta debut - Albuquerque Journal

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center’s balloon makes fiesta debut

The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center’s hot air balloon, Eyahne on the Horizon,
will make its debut at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta this weekend. (Courtesy of Indian Pueblo Cultural Center)

It’s been a year since Eyahne on the Horizon had its maiden voyage.

The hot air balloon, which serves as an ambassador for the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, will make its debut at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which takes place Oct. 2-10.

“Eyahne” means “blessings” in the Keres Native American language, and the unique balloon features a distinctive, Pueblo-inspired design that symbolizes the sacred beliefs and culture of the Pueblo peoples of New Mexico.

Zuni Pueblo’s Cellicion Dance Group will perform at the IPCC.

IPCC’s balloon is a partnership with Rainbow Ryders, the Southwest’s premier hot air balloon company. In honor of the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico, Rainbow Ryders chose the N-Number “N19NM” when registering the aircraft with the FAA.

Michael Canfield, IPCC president and CEO, says the 2020 event was scheduled to be the first fiesta for the balloon. But that didn’t deter the excitement.

The Sky City Buffalo Ram Dance Group (Acoma) will dance at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.

“That makes our participation in October’s Balloon Fiesta even more special,” Canfield said. “We couldn’t be more excited to see Eyahne on the Horizon take her place among the iconic balloons in the skies over Albuquerque when this spectacular show makes its eagerly anticipated return. We are also delighted to partner with Scott Appelman and his excellent team at Rainbow Ryders.”

Eyahne on the Horizon was made in Ann Arbor, Michigan, by Cameron Balloons, the world’s largest balloon manufacturer. The balloon is 275,000 cubic feet in size, measures 86 feet tall and 68 feet wide and is capable of lifting 6,000 pounds, or 12 to 14 passengers, plus the pilot. It is one of the largest ride balloons in New Mexico.

White Mountain Apache Crown Dancers dance at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, which will have dances daily through Oct. 11.

Canfield said the IPCC is putting together 11 days of events that coincide with the Balloon Fiesta, beginning Friday, Oct. 1. They are:

• IPCC’s Albuquerque American Indian Arts Festival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, and Sunday, Oct. 3. The IPCC Albuquerque American Indian Arts Festival is the only authentic, all—Native American art show in town during the Balloon Fiesta. This premiere event will showcase the work of 45 artists and gives visitors the opportunity to meet, talk with, and shop directly from Native artists. The two-day festival also will also include cultural Native dances and artist demonstrations.

• An expanded schedule of cultural Native dances from Friday, Oct. 1, to Oct. 11. From 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, IPCC’S mural-lined courtyard will have multiple Native dances and be filled with Native artists selling their handcrafted art and jewelry.

• IPCC’s museum exhibits include the permanent exhibit “We Are of This Place: The Pueblo Story” and rotating exhibits “HERitage: Pueblo Women Paving Cultural Pathways” and “ReLocated: Urban Migration, Perseverance and Adaptation.” Guests can also experience the Artists Circle Gallery, which is now showing an exhibit by Laura Fragua-Cota (Jemez Pueblo) called “Our Ancestors: Our Historical Strength.”

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 11, members of New Mexico’s Native American tribes will gather with civic officials and the public at IPCC to celebrate New Mexico’s statewide Indigenous Peoples Day. This event is open to all and will include dignitaries, Native dances, a historical presentation and artist demonstrations. Admission is free.

“We look forward to welcoming guests from around the world for what will be a very special 11 days at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center,” said Beverlee McClure, vice president for cultural and community engagement at IPCC. “We will offer a truly unforgettable cultural experience, with amazing art, dance, history, food and – of course – our celebrated Pueblo hospitality.”

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