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   New Mexican (Newspaper) - October 2, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico                                Jake Associated Press The AndersonAbruzzo International Balloon Museum is designed to look like a balloon about to launch The museum opened recently in conjunction with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta air rises enough of it will lift the bal loon and whatevers attached into the air Gas balloons filled with helium or hydrogen because those gases are lighter than air Schmit Nason said she hopes foreign visitors will be impressed to find their countries flying history represented at the museum For example the museum will fea ture a token commemorating a Mexico City flight in 1892 a kimonostyle jacket worn by a Japanese balloonist in 1994 and parts of a bombdropping device used by Germany during World War II Albuquerques second balloon which flew in 1907 and is known simply as Albuquerque will be on exhibit too Other historymaking balloons that attempted to set world records also will be on display Ballooning was revived1 in Albuquer que in 1971 when aviator Sid Cutter decided to fly a balloon to commemo rate his mothers birthday He enjoyed the ride so much that he learned how to fly and then invited balloonists from around the world to gather here for the first international balloon festival was a great organizer and he got addicted to Schmit Nason said of Cutter Cutter says he is impressed by the new museum especially the fact it overlooks a field where the balloons are launched Its going to be a beauti ful beautiful experience to go to the museum during the balloon he said Im flattered that we finally got around to opening a Cutter said he liked both hot air and gas ballooning but preferred gas Hotair balloons generally are larger and prettier painted in more colorful designs he said Thats partly because theyre designed to fly only for an hour or two at time Gas balloons by con trast are sturdier designed for longer hauls three days or so The fiesta which grew from just a handful of balloonists now attracts tens of thousands of people At the new museum children and tourists will have a chance to learn handson about what theyre watching float in the sky said Melanie LaBorwit the museums curator of education Some of the exhibits will let visitors plan the logistics of a mock balloon flight Theyll have to make decisions ranging from what type of fuel to use to how much food to carry Like real bal loon pilots visitors will gain an under standing of geography how to tie knots what type of fabrics fly best and the physics of keeping a balloon afloat Some of our exhibits will be like a game but youre learning as you LaBorwit said If you BALLOON MUSEUM 9201 Balloon Museum Drive NE Albuquerque or 505 7686020 HOURS Tuesday through Sunday 9 to 5 ADMISSION Adults seniors children 4 to 12 GETTING THERE From Interstate 25 take the Alameda Boulevard exit Drive about one mile west on Alameda Balloon Museum Drive is on the north side of Alaitieda That will take you directly to the parking lot ALBUQUERQUE INTERNATIONAL BALLOON FIESTA Now through Oct 9 or 888 4227277 Festivals can be a party destination To carry the possibility of its being memorable a trip requires a balance of planning and serendipity Leaving every thing to chance can create unpleasant tension but so can overplanning The secret Put one tent peg down securely and let the loose ends flap in the breeze I remember a day driving through Finland with my mother in my Mini headedto Moscow though not all of my trips were so We had a general route and a room reserved for the night somewhere at a relaxed distance Thats why whim could abruptly cause the Mini to take a turn into a large field that held what seemed to be a fair It was indeed a fair a small one with a compendium of new farm equipment a few prized animals food stands and local folks in abundance Mom grew up on a Kansas homestead and I knew a hay rake from a handsaw so we had a fine time clambering about the familiar but strange machinery eating assorted oddments rubbing the white face of a calf and carrying on conversations with others in attendance Nonverbal of course Finnish is as impenetrable a lan guage as ever graced human tongue Mother and I recalled with pleasure those few impromptu hours at a Finnish farm festival for years afterward Ever since that day Ive treasured the idea of finding small unique festivals and let ting chance lead the way Admittedly its been more an idea than an action But I often advise others to try it some have and report a good time had by Locating a festival and attending it isnt the same as stumbling across one but chance alas isnt always fruitful But you can make a planned destina tion seem like a discovery Go there in a meandering manner and be open to impulse en route Stop where quilts for sale hang on a clothesline at pickem yourself berry patches and at odd road side attractions that grab your eye Actu ally read historical markers Take a road that leads up and over a hill Stop at a small graveyard and read the headstones If you have arewethereyet kids try to convince them that wherever they are is That should puzzle them enough to hold them until you are indeed there And where is there Ill tell to find a bunch of theres to suit your individual fancies and then Ill mention some that are soon and near that you might like to mosey to The festival finder is oh the Internet at Its a site that has become considerably more sophisti cated than it was when I first discovered it years ago You can search it by date subject matter location and the like Or you can browse until something draws you in And you can if you are a festival creator list your event DENISE MCCLUGGAGE Vou go girl Of course no need to search to know Albuquerques Balloon Fiesta is under way right now And though the TV coverage is striking the fiesta deserves upclose and personal attendance If the early hour and chill of massascension mornings are a bit much for you go to a balloon glow in the evening Its a truly magical experience Actually the Balloon Fiesta was more suitable for my list when it was small like 50 balloons instead of 600 But admittedly when it comes to balloons spectacle is well served by size On the Internet you can find smaller balloon fiestas in smaller places Heres a small place Farmington The event Four Corners Storytelling Festival 930 to 9 Oct 1415 Its in a tent by the river during the day and at the amphitheater at night Theres even a workshop in storytelling For more infor mation call Flo Trujillo at 505 5991261 Drive up through the Valle Grande or take US 285 to catch 64 west Thats one of the great drives in the state Since Route 44 changed to find it a lessthansuper Oct 1622 in Wynnewood the Arbuckle Mountain Fall Bluegrass Jam is scheduled Music festivals all seem to be smilefests For more information go to arbucklemtbluegrassparkhomestead com This one is still farther afield llth annual Shawnee Great Grillers State Championship Shawnee Oct 2425 Barbecue festivals smell good and taste good Choose your route there to follow the Old Santa Fe Trail You can do this in a general way or you can go to and find instruc tions on how to follow the trails every bend meticulously But you wont make this years cookoff if you do Cast your plans a little further down the line say midJune next year and target Canon City for the Gaelic Irish Scottish and Celtic Festival Theres even a kilted golf tournament For more information go to www Gaelic being about as impenetrable as Finnish this brings me full circle Contact Denise McCluggage at herself@denisemcduggage.com The New Mexican magazine Oct 28 2005 SUNDAY 13   

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