RV City comes to life each Balloon Fiesta

Created: 10/04/2013 6:38 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It’s the fastest-growing town in New Mexico, if not the whole Southwest. But enjoy it now – because in about ten days’ time it won’t be there anymore.

The sprawling RV city just south of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Park will be home to at least eight thousand people during this year’s Fiesta.  Just a few days ago the prairie dogs and jackrabbits outnumbered people on the dusty desert terrain, but that has all changed.

Don Walker and his family are here from Florida. It’s Don’s first Balloon Fiesta, even though he was stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque from 1997 to 2000.

“We’re fulltime RVers,” Walker said. “I retired from the military last year. We put our furniture and everything into storage and moved in to this fulltime. Last year we did New England and the Northeast. This year we did the west and the Balloon Fiesta is the pinnacle of our trip!”

The RV city is packed with tour buses and trailers and RVs and cars. Jerry McConnell brought his bike.

“This is probably the fastest way to get around today, with all the crowds that are gonna be here,” McConnell said. “I figure it’s supposed to be quite a packed house.”

Talk about civilization. This year, for the first time, there are three of Albuquerque’s popular food trucks serving the RV population. It took some convincing to get them in.

“We kind of got in by pounding the streets, pounding on doors,” said Tina Ritt of the “Lunch Box” truck. “Now that we’re here the ballooners love it, so I think we’re gonna be able to stay for next year.”

Tina’s special on Friday was a lobster pizza. Enjoy it while you can. After the Fiesta, the whole place will belong to the jackrabbits again.

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