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Twelve Signs that it is Balloon Fiesta Week

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is an annual holiday that Albuquerqueans anticipate, right up there with Halloween and Christmas. Every October, for nine days, the morning skies are filled with giant hot-air balloons and the streets and restaurants are filled with rare out-of-towners. These are the twelve ways you’ll know for sure that it’s that special week of the year:

The lines outside of all the New Mexican restaurants are out of control.

You unwittingly go to a New Mexican restaurant for Friday night out, and end up going somewhere else to avoid the long wait.

The people sitting at the table next to you at Sadie's ask to see your sopapillas because they don't know what they are.

Cars are parked along major streets at morning rush hour because people are gawking at balloons.

photo by Matt Satches

Driving down Alameda or Paseo is a futile effort during ballooning hours.

From about 9 to 10 in the morning, you’ll see balloons landing in all kinds of random places.

You see balloon chase crews and trucks carrying balloon baskets EVERYWHERE.

The hard-core balloonists with their pins and patches are also EVERYWHERE.

via Santa Fe New Mexican

No one can stop talking about “all the tourists.”

You get into the frenzy of excitement for the balloons, but not usually enough to actually go.

Consider you do go:

the day consists of getting up at 4:30 a.m., sitting in traffic in the dark, buying an over-priced hot chocolate at the balloon park, ooh-ing and aah-ing at the balloons if and when they finally rise, and then passing out at 11.

The weather has finally officially turned into fall (yay!), and has decided to be just ornery enough to make trouble for the balloons (boo).

photo by Delia Barnas

The weather has finally officially turned into fall (yay!), and has decided to be just ornery enough to make trouble for the balloons (boo).

photo by Delia Barnas