All you need to know to survive Balloon Fiesta - Albuquerque Journal

All you need to know to survive Balloon Fiesta


DATES: Saturday, Oct. 1- Sunday, Oct. 9

ADMISSION: $15 per session, children 12 and under free. Online at for a service fee of $1 per ticket.

ARRIVAL AND PARKING: The park is located in north Albuquerque, west of Interstate 25, and about 12 miles north of the Albuquerque Sunport via I-25. Volunteers will direct cars into parking areas. Visitors are advised to retain their tickets for re-admission in case a session is canceled. Refunds are not given. Parking is $20, cash only.

BIKE VALET: Free with the price of admission from 4-11 a.m. mornings, and 3-9 p.m. for evening events. Take the trail that runs along the AMAFCA North Diversion Channel, crosses underneath Paseo del Norte and Alameda, and ends just north of the Balloon Museum. Remember, it is dark in the morning when arriving and dark at night after leaving, so be sure to have proper bicycle illumination.

HANDICAP ACCESSIBILITY: Handicap parking is available close to the entrance gates for the regular $20 parking fee. There are also a limited number of mobility scooters and wheelchairs available for on-site rental near the north and south information booths.

WHEN TO GO: Arrive early. On weekends, it is recommended to park by 5 a.m. for morning events, and by 4 p.m. for evening events.

WHAT TO WEAR: Layering your clothing is advisable, because in the morning’s dark and early hours it can be quite cold. Comfortable walking shoes are also recommended.

PETS: No pets except ADA service dogs wearing a vest.

SMOKING: Not permitted anywhere on the launch field.

NECESSITIES: Portable restrooms are located throughout Balloon Fiesta Park, near most of the entrance gates. Also more than 250 portable restrooms are located at the north, west and east ends, and throughout the field. Four breast feeding/baby changing stations also available.

ABOUT THE TRAFFIC: There are about 10,000 parking spaces in leased or loaned parking lots immediately adjacent to Balloon Fiesta Park. On weekend mornings, when mass ascensions are held, motorists coming from the West Side should enter Balloon Fiesta Park via Alameda, which will be one way east only from Second Street to Balloon Museum Drive. Westbound traffic coming from the East Side will be funneled from the I-25 Frontage Roads and directed to San Mateo heading north to Balloon Fiesta Parkway and the northern end of the balloon field. Eastbound traffic may also enter via Tramway and Alameda.

Park & Ride tickets must be purchased online at; ticket prices include gate admission. Bus service will operate Thursday-Sunday, but not Monday-Wednesday.

HOURS: Morning events, buses leave for the park between 4:30 a.m. and 7 a.m. Return trips are 8 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Evening events, buses leave 3:30-6:30 p.m. Return trips are 7-9:30 p.m.

LOT LOCATIONS • Coronado Mall, 6600 Menaul NE, southwest corner near San Pedro. • Hoffmantown Church, 8888 Harper NE, northeast lot • Cottonwood Mall, 10000 Coors Bypass NW, northeast lot


Advance tickets: (Purchased before midnight for morning sessions or before noon for afternoon and evening sessions) A 10% service charge will be added.

Adults (13-61) $22; seniors (62 & older) $20; children (6-12) $10; 5 and under free

Same day tickets should be purchased online. A 10% service charge will be added.

Same day pricing: Adults (13-61) $25; seniors (62 & older) $25; children (6-12) $12; 5 and under free

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