ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Traffic heading into the 50th anniversary of Balloon Fiesta has caused hundreds to wait longer than an hour to get into Balloon Fiesta Park on its first day. Many call the lengthy backups as ‘pure chaos.’

Traffic was already getting heavy on Saturday evening, but it was nothing compared to the morning congestion.

The roads seemed to be at a complete standstill on Alameda Saturday morning. Many of the people in those cars waited more than an hour to get into the parking lot.

Many people choose to take the park and ride as well. The program allowed visitors to catch a bus at one of the pickup locations and get dropped off directly at the gate. It’s usually quicker than driving and less of a hassle.

Many fiesta-goers who used park and ride said other drivers were accidentally using the bus lane to try and enter the park.

“It was an hour and change just to get into the lot. We left early at around 4:30 but didn’t get into the park until closer to 6,” said Janet Lindhel, who came from California for Balloon Fiesta.

Balloon Fiesta has thousands of visitors each year. If you plan on going any morning during its duration, plan to get out the door sooner rather than later.

Day two starts with another drone show, that’ll be at 5:45 a.m. with a mass ascension starting at 7 a.m., weather permitting.