Balloon Fiesta draws near
Posted at: 09/27/2012 7:19 PM
By: KOB.com staff
The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is just around the corner, and soon pilots and balloon enthusiasts will fill the city for the state's largest event.
But, physics has taught us that what goes up, must come down, and a big question many balloon watchers ask is 'where do the balloons land?'
"If you got the wind speed we encourage people to fly over town and land on the other side of town where it opens up," Balloon Fiesta Event Director Don Edwards said.
One of the most popular landing spots is the 22-acre field at Osuna and Vista del Norte. Wal-Mart had planned construction on it, but the city bought the land for $5 million and promised to save the field for balloon landings.
"In fact, this field is so popular there were more cars and spectators in this field than there were landing balloons," Edwards said. "So this year the city put up this fence around the field with the hope that this year we'll have more hot air balloons in here and less cars."
There are areas in the metro that are off limits including Kirtland Air Force Base, Sandia Laboratories and the Sandia Pueblo have restrictions. And there are private properties that don't allow any landings or take offs. Sandia Preparatory School, the fields at Saint Pius High School and the city's Botanical Gardens all prohibit balloon landings.
"The land owners have made it crystal clear that they don't want our balloons there, but they are clearly marked on the map," Edwards said.
Hot air balloons captivate the city's attention each fall, and this year - don't just admire them in the air - check out their landings as well.