ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A shelter-in-place was ordered Friday night during the Balloon Fiesta’s planned Special Shapes Glowdeo. The order lasted until about 8:10 p.m.

A lightning storm sent thousands of visitors scrambling for cover. “We didn’t think the storm was that big at first,” said visitor Ivan Madrid. “We just felt a little bit of drops, but then five minutes later, we felt the rain coming really hard.”


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The conditions were looking good at 6:45 p.m. when officials gave the green light for the evening Glowdeo. But half an hour later, the storm was moving in, and crews were being directed to deflate their balloons.

The rain started pounding the field, even as the fireworks show continued overhead. At first, officials announced the park was being evacuated but then shifted to a shelter-in-place, bringing buses onto the field to give families a place to take cover. Meanwhile, many spectators chose to run back to their cars.

Others were perfectly happy to sit tight and wait out the worst of the storm. “It’s kinda fun actually,” said one spectator.

“Yeah, we’re used to this weather during Balloon Fiesta, so you kinda come prepared,” said Yeret Lopez.

“Luckily, we came prepared,” said Gaby Loveless. “My husband is always prepared so here we are.”

“A little rain never hurt anyone, and we couldn’t really emergency evacuate thousands of people anyway, so we might as well enjoy the fireworks,” Michael Loveless said.

By 8:30 p.m., the shelter-in-place was lifted and everyone was given the go-ahead to head for the exits.