They posted this in the local 501st forum the other day. The event runs from the 6th of October through the 14th.
· This is a high profile event with lots of photo-ops and media. The AIBF is recognized as the most photographed events in the world. Everybody has a camera and you will be in hundreds of pictures. In addition, local and national media are present.
· We will have fair but not unlimited number of entry passes and parking permits. We will issue them for each event and collect them before we leave so we have them for the next event.
· We will meet at the west end of the Target parking lot at Paseo del Norte and I-25, consolidate people and bins into as few vehicles as possible and car pool onto the Balloon Fiesta grounds.
· As such, space will be at a premium. If you have a smaller travel bin, please bring it instead of your large bin. We usually try to have a variety of vehicles including trucks, etc. so you might not actually be in the same vehicle with your bin.
· This is a CANON TROOP. 501st Legion or Rebel Legion Approved Costumes ONLY. If you have a Legion costume you want to wear, please apply for approval NOW.
· No blasters, guns, etc. Light Sabers for Vader/Jedi are ok. The AIBF is strict about this so TAKE YOUR BLASTERS OUT OF YOUR BINS before you come to the Fiesta. You don't want to accidentally put it on out of habit. (Brotherhalo is attempting to get an okay with weapons, but don't count on it.)
· For the morning troops, we will be changing in the Balloon Fiesta parking lot before dawn. Expect it to be cold and dark. Plan on bringing your winter UnderArmor (or two sets of regular weight). A flashlight or camping lantern in your bin might help.
· On the other hand, the evening troops can be warm so be ready to be flexible. While we dress while it's still light out, we will be undressing after dark so again the lanterns and flashlights are helpful.
· There is an individual trooping thread for signing up to troop and will have details for meeting time and place.
· When we are moving from one point to another (like parking lot to the field) we should not stop for pictures. Politely tell them to come to the field. If we stop for one picture, many more will follow.
· Vader Trooping: Things change when we have a Vader in the mix . From a bad experience in '08 with David being mobbed and better experience in '09 with Frank, we have a plan. We will need at least two assertive and patient handlers for Vader. Vader will need to stand with his back to the trailer or something else. One handler will stay right with Vader while the other manages the line and cues the next excited fan for a picture. Once the line is established, it goes pretty well.
Information for Out of Towners
By all means start planning lodging arrangements if you haven't already! If we go with the usual arrangements, Benoit will be here for the entire Fiesta and will participate in all morning events plus the two Special Shape Glodeos (October 6 & 7) and he will inflate for each event weather permitting. By tradition, we want to be there every time he is. So that is ELEVEN EVENTS in nine days (yea!!!)
Weather is a factor. Each year events are cancelled or minimized due to wind or rain. Be aware that planning to be there doesn't guarantee something happening, but when it does happen it is usually great.
Lodging: There is plenty of lodging in Albuquerque compared to the old days. It's hard to say where to stay because there is so much to choose from but the town isn't that big and traffic is pretty light at 4am so don't feel the need to be right near the fiesta grounds where prices may be premium. There are some parts along Central Avenue from downtown to the fair grounds and maybe even further east where the neighborhood may not feel as safe as elsewhere. If you find a place and want to contact one us 'locals' for an opinion, that would be fine.