Chase the Blue Dot

New Mexico: Other things to do at the Balloon Fiesta

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So, what’s there to do after you have visited the Balloon Fiesta Park and all the majestic hot air (or gas) balloons are in the air?

Plenty. 🙂

Chainsaw carving competition

Chainsaw sculpture is a relatively new art form that has gained enthusiasts all over the world. The delicate ballet the carvers perform with a powerful chainsaw is mesmerizing. Come and see what all the buzz and chips flying is all about! 4 carvers are set to compete.

The AIBF Chainsaw Carving Exhibition is located at the north end of Balloon Fiesta Park. A live auction is held each exhibition day, beginning at approximately 5:00pm. Additional carvings are available for purchase.

October 5, 6, 10, 11, & 12 times

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  AIBF Chainsaw Carving Exhibition
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.   AIBF Chainsaw Carving Exhibition
5:00pm Auction

October 7, 8, & 9 times

8:00am – 12:00pm   AIBF Chainsaw Carving Demonstration

October 13 time

8:00am – 12:00pm   AIBF Chainsaw Carving Q&A

7-Eleven Balloon Discovery Center

Get hands-on experience to learn about the sport and science of ballooning, and a behind-the-scenes look at Balloon Fiesta event operations. Located at the north end of Balloon Fiesta Park, the interactive exhibits illustrate the principles of lighter-than-air flight, the history of the sport, and safety aspects of ballooning. A hot air balloon exhibit has a basket in which kids can “burn” the burners and simulate a balloon flight. Another exhibit demonstrates the “Albuquerque Box” effect, and an Arts & Crafts area tickles the imagination of youngsters about the beauty of balloons.

NASA is also at the Balloon Fiesta this year, with these exhibits:

  • Former NASA astronaut speaker Mike Mullane, a veteran of three space shuttle missions, is scheduled to share his experiences at 9:00AM on October 5 and 6.
  • The Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy is a combination of the world’s largest airborne infrared telescope integrated into a NASA 747SP aircraft. An infrared camera display is used to show how that type of imaging works.
  • Former NASA Armstrong aerospace engineering technician demonstrating a high-altitude pressure suit used by pilots of the retired Mach 3 SR-71 and the high-altitude ER-2 Earth resources aircraft.
  • A tabletop pressure chamber will explain the requirements for high-altitude pressure suits with water boiling at low temperatures and marshmallow Peeps expanding and contracting.
  • An F-15 cockpit simulator gives visitors the chance to picture themselves in the pilot’s seat of the high-performance jet.
  • A no-cost photo kiosk allows visitors to take a picture in a virtual environment that places them in a spacesuit. Nearby will be a machine that will turn a penny into a NASA souvenir.

Music Fiesta

As I’ve mentioned before in Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta – Balloon Glow and Music Fiesta, we attended the Music Fiesta in 2017. We love country music, and this year’s lineup features Justin Moore and Cassadee Pope. While we’ve seen Justin Moore in concert before, I’m excited to see him in a much smaller venue. We’ve never seen Cassadee Pope before, so this is a new experience for us. And since we’ll have media passes, I’ll be able to take decent photos to capture the experience (we were asked to put our cameras away in 2017). 🙂

The Saturday, October 12 lineup/times:

  • 1:00 p.m. Tylor Brandon and the Neon West Band
  •  2:30 p.m. Cassadee Pope
  •  4:00 p.m. Justin Moore

The cool thing about the Music Fiesta is that you can stay and enjoy that evening’s Night Magic Glow™ and AfterGlow™ fireworks with your ticket to the Music Fiesta.

See you there!

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