Albuquerque Balloon Fest, Horrorfest, Flora Fest, lead weekend events

Many El Pasoans will be traveling to New Mexico this weekend for the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. It’s an exciting venture to see dozens of hot air balloons in the sky.

In El Paso, folks can continue to enjoy fall adventures, like going to corn mazes and native plant sales to touring historic homes in the Sunset Heights neighborhood.

Something new for El Paso this year is the first Horror Fest, which will be a gathering for all those who love to scare or be scared. The fest will take over the El Paso convention center this weekend.

Here’s a glimpse of the weekend with more details.

The Albuquerque Balloon Fest takes place this weekend.

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

The 51st annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta will be Saturday through Oct. 15 at the Balloon Fiesta Park in northern Albuquerque. The fiesta will include live entertainment, lots of vendors and plenty of hot air balloons to enjoy. Festivities will begin well before sunrise each day. Ticketing is based on two sessions per day — morning sessions and evening sessions. General admission for people 12 and up is $15 per person for one session. 

More: It’s time for the Balloon Fiesta. Here’s what you should know for this weekend.

El Paso Horrorfest

El Paso Horrorfest will bring scary, spooky guests Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7-8, at the El Paso convention center. Guests will include Chris Harrelson and Ryan Hurst from “The Walking Dead” and William Forsythe from “Halloween.” The pop culture event will celebrate comic books, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, cosplay, and other elements of popular culture. It will be an all-ages event. Single-day passes are $25 for Saturday and $20 for Sunday, a child weekend pass is $5, the weekend pass is $40 and the VIP Pass is $80. Information:

Make plans for El Paso Sunset Heights tour

Monique and Steffens Poessiger’s living room of their home will be seen at the 19th Annual Sunset Heights Tour of Homes on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023.

The 19th annual Sunset Heights Tour of Homes will feature seven homes from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7. Homes to be featured: Poessigers home, 604 Stewart Ct., Sunset Parlor, 1307 N. Oregon St. Burges House, 603 W. Yandell Drive, The Woman’s Club of El Paso, 1400 N. Mesa, Kohlberg House/Fischer Home, 525 Corto Way, Hal Marcus Gallery, 1308 N. Oregon St., and the Trost House/McGregor Homem, 1013 W. Yandell Drive. Admission: Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids 10 and under. Information: 915-593-9090. E-Tickets:    

More:Sunset Heights home with historic charm on display in annual tour

Shop for plants at Fall Flora Fest

The Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens will have a fall FloraFest sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Undergraduate Learning Center (UGLC) plaza, UTEP Campus. Organizers have priced most plants from $10 to $40; trees and other specialties will be more. Many plants sold at FloraFest are unavailable at local nurseries or retailers. FloraFest will only accept payment via credit/debit cards. The event will not accept cash or checks. Information:…/chihuahuan-desert…/florafest.html 

Parking will be available at the Sun Bowl Parking Garage. There will be a plant-loading zone on Wiggins Way in front of the UGLC. Volunteers will help load vehicles. A limited number of wagons will be available, so bring your own if possible.

Way Out West

Country rock singer/songwriter Brantley Gilbert will headline the Seventh Annual Way Out West Country Music Festival, starting at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at Southwest University Park. The annual country music festival will also feature additional top country music acts from across the U.S. Gates will open at 5 p.m.; festival starts at 6 p.m. Tickets, ranging from $50 to $196, excluding fees, are available online at

Jokes N Jamz at Speaking Rock Entertainment

El Pasoans, get ready for the Jokes N Jamz Festival Saturday, Oct. 7, at Speaking Rock Entertainment Center, 122 Old Pueblo Road. The event will feature Baby Bash, Danny Trejo, Brown Boy, Cota Da Barber, Amora, Tarah. Also, comedians Juan Villarael, Alfredo Robles, Buck D, and Joshua Fournier. Free event. 21 and over. Information: 505-269-3301.

Jewel Box Series

Diversity marks the eighth season of the El Paso Community Foundation Jewel Box Series at the Philanthropy Theatre, which opens at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, with “Out of the Closet, Into the Fire.” The production, which coincides with LGBTQ History Month, uses a cast of eight actors to bring to life authentic stories of gay and trans people. It was curated and directed by El Paso theater icon Jan H. Wolfe of Framed Wolfe Productions. General admission tickets are $15 for each show and are on sale at the Plaza Theatre Box Office and

Sun Bowl Punt, Pass & Kick is Tuesday

The Peter Piper Pizza Sun Bowl Punt, Pass & Kick is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, in Sun Bowl Stadium on the UTEP campus. The free event is open to youth (ages 6-15) in and around the borderland. The winners from each age group will receive tickets to the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl game, which will be played on Dec. 29, 2023. They will also be honored in the Glasheen, Valles & Inderman Injury Lawyers Sun Bowl Parade on Thanksgiving morning. The first 150 kids to check in at the event will receive a T-shirt and water bottle. Sizes are limited.

Get lost at La Union Maze

The La Union Maze design will be a remake of the first Maze back in 2000.

The La Union Maze continues on 45 acres of land with a 12-acre maze and pumpkin patch, more than 17 activity stations and food stands. Hours will be 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays, and 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. General admission is $12, $6 for kids ages 2-5. There is a Haunted Maze experience for an additional $12. The maze is going cashless, so take and use credit cards to purchase tickets online.

El Paso Maze and pumpkin patch

The El Paso’s Farm Land maze is open weekends through Oct. 20 at 1100 Nuevo Tanks Blvd. Hours: 1 to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 7-8, Oct. 14-15, Oct. 21-22, and Oct. 28-29. The farmland offers a pumpkin patch, rides, food and games. Tickets available at the maze are $11.95 plus tax for ages 12 and up, $8.95 plus tax for ages 3-11, and free for ages up to 2. Active military, teachers and seniors get a discounted price, $10.95 plus tax with ID.

Mesilla Valley Maze and pumpkin patch

The Mesilla Valley Maze will be open weekends through Oct. 29 at 3855 W. Picacho Ave. in Las Cruces. Visitors can enjoy hayrides, giant slides, a country store, duck races and face painting. The Maze will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. General admission is $18, children under 12 are $15, and two and under are free. $2 military discount with ID. Visit

María Cortés González may be reached at 915-546-6150, and @EPTMaria on Twitter.

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