Hot Air Balloons in Guanajuato: Bountiful Festivals for Buen Fin

This weekend was Buen Fin, which is Mexico’s version of Black Friday.

finThere were quite a few festivals going on this weekend and this one was by FAR my favorite!festivalcollageOn Sunday, I was able to attend the International Hot Air Balloon Festival in León, Guanajuato. I went with my co-worker’s nephew, Eduardo and his three friends. The festival has two main events, which are the massive hot air balloon take-off each morning at 6:30 AM and the air balloon light show each evening at 7 PM. On Sunday, we left Querétaro at 4 AM en route for León.

After traffic, driving around to find parking, and waiting in line for tickets, we arrived at the festival at 9:30 AM. 😦 We were all bummed that we had missed the balloon take-off. That being said, we DEFINITELY needed to stay until 7 PM for the light show.

The International Hot Air Balloon Festival has 200 different air balloons that come from all over the world to be showcased at this event. They also have live music, lots of food and a campground for people that don’t want to miss the balloon launch at 6:30 AM. I think we may need to camp next time! Hah.

Anyway, the entrance fee is $4.50, but there is no re-entry. Our options were to stay at the festival from 9:30 AM until 7 PM, or to find something to do and come back later. We decided to leave, get breakfast, and come back later. 😀

We went to Toks Restaurante, which reminds of a classy Mexican Baker’s Square. At around $8-9 per entree, this was the most expensive breakfast I have had in Mexico. Hah. On the plus side, Toks offers a very nice atmosphere and all meals come with coffee, juice, fruit and bread with jam.

I had chilaquiles verde, which is prepared by cooking tortilla chips in spicy green salsa, then topping the chips with shredded chicken and cheese.breakfAfterwards, we headed to the festival. 😀 The festival grounds are located in the beautiful Parque Metropolitano, right on the lake. It was a gorgeous day!img_6559They offered plenty of activities for kids, including a marine training camp and a pirate discovery ship. I am a big kid sometimes. 😛hotair3They had a few different clothing vendors and PLENTY of food vendors. Indio beer sponsored the event and the drinks were reasonably priced. Only $3 for a michelada. These shoes were adorable, but I had to resist. Go America! 😀indioWe had a fun time walking around and being silly. Eduardo’s jokes were so corny, but he had all of us laughing. 🙂festivalBy 6 PM, we started lining up in the field for the show to begin.img_6545They roped off two large sections for the hot air balloon show.hotair2At 6:30 PM, trucks began driving in with their balloon baskets in their truck beds. They were using the air balloon propane tanks to shoot large flames into the air. It was quite entertaining. The crew members were dressed up in all different costumes. hotairHey look, the cast of Alice in Wonderland. 🙂baloon7The grounds were beautiful at night.sceneryThey had plenty of entertainment at the main stage to keep the crowd going as they began to inflate the balloons.new-baloonHere is a short clip of the air balloon light show. You can probably hear me shouting in the background! Hah. Like mother, like daughter. 😛

After a fantastic show, the crowd released paper lanterns into the sky. The candlelit lanterns slowly floated over the lake into the hills. It was absolutely gorgeous!baloon19I will mention that at one point a lantern started falling down and almost landed on this girls head! Gahh! I didn’t want my hair to go up in the flames, so we got out of there shortly after. Overall, I’d definitely recommend this festival. Inexpensive and incredibly entertaining! 😀

There were a few other festivals going on this weekend as well. I had the chance to watch a concert for Trova Fest, which is a music festival held in Plaza Fundadores in Querétaro. Here was a guitar player from Puerto Rico. Very talented!img_6547With free entrance, it was the perfect way to spend my Saturday. On the way home, I spotted a bunch of creepy street performers in the historic center.townThey even had a few street musicians. This performance reminded me of being back in Europe.img_6524

Another lively weekend in Mexico.

Anyway, school will be very busy in the next week. We have all been preparing for Parent’s Day, which will run from Friday the 21st until Saturday the 22nd.

In English, 5th grade made these adorable identity cubes. It was a great way to showcase their hobbies and interests.craftj1craftjUnfortunately, Erick got too excited, threw his cube up, and it cube landed on the roof. Hah.img_6492In science class, 6th grade made their own fossils using childhood toys.craftj3Lastly, in English class, 6th grade will be presenting a play on cross-cultural communication. We had been practicing all week and creating props for the play. The Italians made some pizza, the Japanese made soy sauce with rice, and the Germans even made clay pork schnitzel. 😛craftj4There will be a lot of work to do in the next week so that the school can host a great event for the parents.schoolI’m sure everything will turn out well. Until then. 🙂

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