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Fall highs in New Mexico- Pigs fly, frescos tower, balloons float for Albuquerque, an up destination

Up in Albuquerque!
Up in Albuquerque!
(c) Lisa TE Sonne,

Pigs do fly in New Mexico, and so do zebras, cows, giraffes, and cats as well as Darth Vader, Sponge Bob,  drinks, vehicles, and cacti.

The famed International Balloon Fiesta is up, up and away in Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 2-10. The visitors bureau estimates that 800,000 people will enjoy this fantastic fall festival, the 39th annual one. While  autumn destinations elsewhere share the “fall colors” of leaves that drift down, Albuquerque floats spectacular colors up into the sky.

Five hundred hot air balloons from around the world may participate. For a small entrance fee, people can walk among the balloons as they are being inflated, talk to the pilots and crew members, and then watch the dramatic take-offs close up.

Early in the day, when the winds are milder, the balloon-related events fill the fields and skies including contests, pre-dawn glows,  “mass ascensions” and a “shape rodeo” of unique balloons.

After memorable mornings, visitors are then free to experience the many museums, national parks, bike paths, public arts projects, and eateries of Albuquerque the rest of the day. People can also  enjoy their own ascensions on one of the world’s longest aerial tramways for glorious views, or explore the sky dwellers of Acoma Pueblo on their mesa, one of the longest continually inhabited places in North America.

For those that want to look up and time travel, North America’s largest concave fresco depicts over 3,000 years of Hispanic history over 4,000 square feet of interior tower wall. The memorable opus is being unveiled to the public October 10th after a decade of creative work by New Mexican artist Frederico Vigil. It is a dream come true for many art lovers who have waited almost a decade. At a preview, an enthusiast said it was a miracle it was finished. But then, in New Mexico, "pigs can fly."

Thumbs up for all the “up” things to do in Albuquerque!

©Text and photos by Lisa Sonne,
posted here with her permission.


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