Everything you need to know to survive Balloon Fiesta

SURVIVAL GUIDE

APPOINTMENT: From Saturday October 1st to Sunday October 9th

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

ARRIVAL AND PARKING: The park is located north of Albuquerque, west of Interstate 25, and approximately 12 miles north of the Albuquerque Sunport via I-25. Volunteers will direct cars to parking areas. Visitors are advised to keep their tickets for re-entry in the event of a session cancellation. Refunds are not granted. Parking is $20, cash only.

BIKE VALET: Free with the price of admission from 4 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the morning and from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. for the evenings. Take the trail that skirts the AMAFCA North Bypass, passes under Paseo del Norte and Alameda, and ends just north of the Balloon Museum. Remember that it is dark in the morning when you arrive and dark at night after departure, so make sure you have good bike lights.

DISABLED ACCESSIBILITY: Handicapped parking is available near the entrance gates for a regular parking fee of $20. There are also a limited number of mobility scooters and wheelchairs available for hire on site near the north and south information booths.

WHEN TO GO: Arrive early. On weekends, it is recommended to park before 5:00 a.m. for morning events and before 4:00 p.m. for evening events.

WHAT TO WEAR: It is advisable to layer your clothes, as in the dark and early morning hours it can get quite chilly. Comfortable walking shoes are also recommended.

PETS: No pets except ADA assistance dogs wearing vests.

SMOKING: Prohibited anywhere on the launch pad.

REQUIREMENTS: Portable toilets are located throughout Balloon Fiesta Park, near most entrance gates. Additionally, over 250 portable toilets are located at the north, west, and east ends, and throughout the grounds. Four breastfeeding/changing stations are also available.

ABOUT TRAFFIC: There are approximately 10,000 parking spaces in rented or loaner parking lots immediately adjacent to Balloon Fiesta Park. On weekend mornings when mass climbs are taking place, motorists coming from the west side should enter Balloon Fiesta Park via Alameda, which will be one-way east from Second Street at Balloon Museum Drive. Westbound traffic from the east side will be channeled from the I-25 frontage roads and directed northbound toward San Mateo to Balloon Fiesta Parkway and the north end of the balloon field. Eastbound traffic may also enter via Tramway and Alameda.

Park & ​​Ride tickets must be purchased online at balloonfiesta.com/Park-Ride; ticket prices include gate entry. Bus service will operate Thursday through Sunday, but not Monday through Wednesday.

HOURS: Morning events, buses leave for the park between 4:30 and 7:00. Returns are from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Evening events, buses depart 3:30-6:30 p.m. and return 7-9:30 p.m.

PITCH 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

TICKETS

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 and over) $20; children (6-12) $10; 5 and under free

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

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