This week on What's Up Wednesday, the countdown has dropped to single digits as we race toward opening day of the 51st Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. And as you might have guessed, demand for 2023 merchandise is soaring. Today we're going to outline all the special shopping hours and opportunities for the event and share a couple of new items that have arrived.
Let's start with right here on Balloon Fiesta Stuff. We plan to keep the online store open 24-7 right thru the event. However, due to the increase of traffic in our physical store and office, not to mention dealing with sales on the field, the processing of your order may take a little longer. If you select local pickup, be sure you wait for the email that your order is actually ready for pickup before you head over.
Our physical Gift Shop is open 9-5 for the rest of this week, and 9-noon on Saturday, September 30. Then starting Monday, Oct 2, we'll be open 8-5 through the event. We will close at noon on the final Sunday, Oct 15.
We'll have two merchandise tents on the field, one at the north end the other at the south end. Both will have the full line of merchandise and will be open from 5-10:30 for all AM sessions. From 4-8:30 for all the PM sessions. By the way, we'll have a merchandise tent available inside the Gondola Club for those of you with tickets there. It's a slightly smaller but good selection of official merchandise for your shopping convenience.
If you're in town on the Thursday and Friday before the event, Oct 5,6, the south merchandise tent will be open for shopping both of those days from 9-5. Entry to the field for early bird shopping is via San Mateo north to Balloon Fiesta Parkway with parking in the Marvin the Martian parking lot. Do not attempt enter the field via Balloon Museum Drive as you'll be turned around by the guard and directed to the San Mateo route.
A note on inventory and product availability. While we have been selling and selling out in some instances of items, we have set aside inventory that we believe will allow for everyone to purchase their favorite products during the event. However, it's still a prediction and with many items specific to the 2023 event, every year some items sell out. The key to shopping Balloon Fiesta merchandise is to buy it when you see, and not wait til later in the week. This is especially true of clothing items where the quantity available is also limited by size.
Now to those new items. As you already know, there will be an annular eclipse on the second Saturday, October 14. To view the eclipse you'll need special glasses. And while NASA is providing some for our guests, you'll want your very own collector's glasses. They come in a trifold card with the path of the eclipse, safety information and more about the eclipse here at Balloon Fiesta. This is great souvenir for remembering the event long after you have popped out and used the special safety glasses.
Even more exciting is a brand new T-shirt, featuring Marvin the Martin. He's flying into Balloon Fiesta in his space ship leading a Martian invasion. Marvin represents the connection between Area 51 and this our 51st event. And did we mention the shirt glows in the dark? These will go fast, so don't delay your purchase.
Remember to check the new arrivals category on a daily basis and new items are still coming in and going right online and into our tent inventories.
One other quick note. Our Balloon Fiesta Stuff check-page has a new look. It's now just one page instead of one page for shipping and another page for billing information. It's a system upgrade that you'll see on numerous online shopping sites. We hope you like it.
Thanks for your support of Balloon Fiesta and Balloon Fiesta stuff!