Old Town is giving Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta eventgoers something to enjoy after the balloons have all lifted in the morning and prior to balloon glows in the evening.
The celebration in Old Town features a variety of performances featuring music from different genres that represent the Land of Enchantment. Each day features a different theme that celebrates the culture and heritage of New Mexico, according to Bree Ortiz, events and operations manager for the City of Albuquerque.
“The reason that we do this is, when people are out during the day, everyone wants to have lunch at Old Town,” Ortiz said. “We’re having entertainment. Each day is themed differently and geared toward New Mexico music. It’s all local music to add to their experience in Old Town for the day.”
Today’s theme is Latin Dance Day. Ballet Folklorico Fiesta Mexicana will perform from 11 a.m. to noon. The folklorico dance group will be followed by Tango Club of Albuquerque, which will hold dance demonstrations.
The dance orchestra, Q Tango, will perform from 12:45-2:15 p.m. Peruvian dance group, Killa Warmi Kuna, will close out the day’s entertainment. It performs from 2:30-4:30 p.m.
On Saturday, Oct. 8, celebrate Flamenco Day with performances from Casa Flamenca from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We do it every year,” Ortiz said of the Old Town entertainment during Balloon Fiesta. “We changed the time this year toward the middle of the day. We found that people were going to dinner and going back out to the Fiesta. We changed the time a little bit and changed the themes of the days.”
Native American Day closes out the entertainment in Old Town on Balloon Fiesta’s final day, which is Sunday, Oct. 9. Native American flutist Marlon Magdelena performs from 11 a.m. to noon, 12:20 to 1 p.m. and from 1:20 to 2 p.m.
Traditional dance from Jemez Pueblo will be performed by Sun and Fire from noon to 12:20 p.m., 1 to 1:20 p.m., 2 to 2:20 p.m. and from 3 to 3:20 p.m. Native American performers Shelley Morningsong and Fabian Fontenelle will take the stage from 2:20 to 3 p.m. and from 3:20 to 4 p.m.
“Over the course of the two weeks of Balloon Fiesta is the busiest weeks for Old Town,” Ortiz said. “About 100,000 people visit Old Town. It’s busiest for all the shops, merchants and restaurants. Everyone down there is busier on the weekends and, when there is not an evening event at Balloon Fiesta, it is a busy week for Old Town.”