New Mexico becomes even more enchanting during the month of October. The first two weeks find the skies filled with hot air balloons. After the balloons land, the third weekend finds pumpkins flying through the air. Yup, pumpkins take to the skies but they have a little trouble with landing.
The Albuquerque International Balloon Festival is held during the first two weeks of October. Billed as the most photographed event in the world, the blue skies and dramatic mountains are the perfect back drop to hot air balloons from around the world. Exciting events such as the key grab and the special shapes rodeos allow balloonists to enjoy competition while spectators get to enjoy the show.
Most events at the Balloon Fiesta end about mid-morning. That works out perfectly as its time to head over to McCall’s Pumpkin Patch. On Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am to 6 pm, children of all ages will be enthralled with hayrides, a 16 acre corn maze, animals to pet, watching the goats traverse an amazing bridge, and, of course, picking your own pumpkin.
On Saturdays and Sundays after 7 pm, McCall’s Pumpkin Patch turns into a haunted farm. The story goes that old Farmer McCall was upset when the powers that be forced him to let them build a highway through his farm. It must have drove him mad, because soon after, his wife and four children disappeared. And even worse, tourist who broke down on the highway near the farm suddenly started to vanish as well. Supposedly, police were able to discover five shallow graves on the farm, but Farm McCall had disappeared as well, never to be seen again. So, explore the haunted farm if you dare. Make your way through the barn and the corn field where danger lurks, or try to make your way through the corn maze using just a flashlight. The McCall’s Haunted Farm is a great place to spend an evening.
If you survived the balloons and the haunted farm, you may think you’re safe, but the third Saturday in October brings a new kind of aerial display-Flying Pumpkins. October 16, 2010 will be the 16th annual Pumpkin Chunkin contest. Teams will try to launch pumpkins from homemade catapults and trebuchets while air cannons will launch eight to ten pound pumpkins to set a new world record. Estancia’s Rotary Club hosts the annual scholarship fundraiser. Last year’s event had 15 teams competing as well as parades, vendors, and contests. This year’s event is still being lined out, but it promises to be just as exciting as previous years.
Enjoy October in New Mexico. Just remember to look up to see the beauty and to duck before you’re hit with a flying pumpkin.