Event Information

Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival 25th Annual Balloon Fiesta Show -2013
Show Dates: 10/4/13 - 10/13/13
Application Deadline: 4/1/13

The application deadline has passed.


Images: 6 (a booth shot is required)

General Information
Jury Fee $30.00

Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festivals
25th Annual Balloon Fiesta Show
October 4-6 & 11-13, 2013
I- 25 & Paseo del Norte
Albuquerque, NM

Fridays, October 4 & 11, 9 am to 5 pm
Saturdays, October 5 & 12, 9 am to 6 pm
Sundays, October 6 & 13, 9 am to 5 pm

Every October 80,000 shoppers from all over the world converge on the Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival's signature "big white tent". Framed by the colorful mass ascensions of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, this top-notch juried show features the work of more than 280 fine artists and craftspeople from throughout the U.S. Artists report great sales, and patrons come ready to shop. Thousands purchase the 'Grande Pass' allowing themselves unlimited admission for both weekends of this Festival, as well as unlimited admission to our Thanksgiving and March shows. This high energy Festival features continuous live music and delicious food in a shaded outdoor pavilion. Adding to the festive atmosphere are food and wine sampling, artist’s demonstrations, and the Kid's Creation Station, all of which add up to a ranking as #15 in Sunshine Artist's "200 Best Shows" and a spot as one of New Mexico's best loved annual events!

Advertising and Promotions Rio Grande Festivals excels in advertising and promoting each show extensively through TV, radio, billboards and newspaper, as well as e-mail blasts, social media, promotional ticket giveaways and direct mail. Publicity efforts pay off when news teams regularly cover the festival, news anchors talk up the show, and the newspaper features the festival and its artists. Artists are highlighted on our digital billboards and on Facebook. Our team works hard to do everything possible to promote the festival and its artists and to bring in more quality buyers.

Following are some excerpts from Sunshine Artist magazine's 200 Best Issue, 2012 about our October show:
  • "Ruth Gore's trio of Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Shows has once again dominated the New Mexico art festival scene, with all three shows not just placing on the fine art list, but serving as that state's only representatives on the 200 Best. Quality is high at this event which features more than 200 artists, and buy/sell isn't tolerated. This commitment to excellence traditionally pays off in hefty revenue for exhibitors."(SA editor)
  • "All organizational categories, particularly management, advertising and artist treatment got high marks.”
  • "Aside from the monster tent, the show has a plethora of advertising, from billboards, print and other media. People know about this festval, that's for sure!"
  • "Ruth Gore continues to bring in the people year after year."
  • "The show offers excellent treatment by staff and the quality of the work is topnotch."


Visit our website to see photos and videos of the festival and check out our artist gallery.

LOCATION AND EXHIBITOR SPACE The 14- acre Festival site is ideally located to attract traffic from the Balloon Fiesta, and to be convenient to city residents. Located at the southwest corner of I-25 and Paseo del Norte, one of the busiest intersections in the city, there is easy access from the frontage road as well as acres of free parking.

The Festival will be held in a 40,000 square foot, fully enclosed, tent structure complete with astroturf. Approximately 225 booth spaces will be available each weekend for exhibiting artists. Artists can apply for one or both weekends. Standard spaces are 10′ x 10′. They are $625 for a single weekend, $1250 for both weekends. Exhibitors must supply their own back and sidewalls. Pipe and drape is also available to rent. Corners are $95 extra per weekend. Center row spaces are 15′ x 5′ deep with draping included along the back wall only. They are $495 for a single weekend, $990 for both weekends. 15 x 10 spaces inside the big tent are $875 for a single weekend and $1750 for both weekends. 400 watts of electricity per indoor booth is available (must be ordered and paid for in advance) $85 per weekend.

The Outdoor Artist's Market and the Culinary Art Booths are located in the outdoor pavilion area.A standard 10 x 10 space outdoors (no electric available) is $450 for a single weekend, $850 for both weekends. A 15 x 10 outdoor space for both weekends is $1180, (single wknd outdoor 15 x 10 not available). A 20 x 10 space is $900 for a single weekend, $1600 for both. Our tent company will add professional stakes to secure your canopy ($15). Tent rentals are also available. An additional option is a 10x 10 canopied space under a 30 foot wide canopy which provides additional protection, by covering and shading the aisle as well as the booths. Add $75 per weekend per 10 x 10 to be under the canopy. Artists use their own display equipment or canopies under this larger canopy to divide their booths from neighbors. (No electric available.) Artist's canopies must be fireproof and approved by the Fire Marshal.

Overnight security will be provided during the Festival and also Monday through Thursday so exhibitors displaying inside the main tent both weekends can remain set up.

ELIGIBILITY The jurying committee will review the images of each entrant and select exhibitors based on ranked jury point totals using scoring of 1 (low) to 7 (high). The following criteria will be taken into consideration: quality of work, mastery of medium, originality, artistic design, focus, marketability and booth display. Work exhibited must be consistent with that shown in images. Booth display photo should accurately represent the work in the category that is being submitted in the images on Zapp. Submit separate entries and jury fees for each category and note in 'booth comments' that you are jurying for two categories but only ordering one booth.

Works may incorporate some commercially produced parts, but the work’s design and execution must be primarily the product of the exhibiting artist’s skill.Categories are limited. Once each category is full, an alternate list will be compiled, and exhibitors on the wait list will be offered spaces as they become available.

No imports or manufactured items will be accepted. Functional items with reproductions of the exhibitor's artwork on them (items like art tiles, mugs, mousepads, ornaments etc....) must be entered as a separate category in Zapp (see details Application section).
The artist who created the work must be present at the show. Do not apply if you are representing someone else's work.

Approximately 225 Artists will be invited to participate in the Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival each weekend. Approximately 25% of the spaces will be reserved for new exhibitors to keep the show fresh. Artist requests for weekends and booth size and type will be considered, but may be altered to balance the show's categories as well as to match the layout of booth sizes available for a two weekend show. It is possible to apply for both weekends but be accepted only for one weekend. If an artist is applying for a single weekend, but is actually only available one specific weekend, a guaranteed weekend fee of $75 will be charged.

A limited number of outdoor booths are reserved for specialty food sampling adjacent to the Outdoor Artist Market, for both weekends only. Vendors applying for sampling space must submit images of their products and booth as well as submit samples for the jurying committee. Culinary Arts booths are grouped together under one canopy and generally do not use their own canopies inside, but prefer an open market atmosphere.

APPLICATION For each medium to be displayed, all applicants must submit 5 digital images representative of the quality and variety of their work, plus a digital image of their booth display. Please include biographical information or a resumé, for our use in promoting you and your artwork through the media. Also include image descriptions and/or a description of the artistic process if it is not apparent. Pricing is also taken into consideration when judging marketability. Functional items with reproductions of the artist' work on them (art tiles, mugs, etc.) must be submitted for jurying under the separate category of 'reproductions of the artists work' and images of all of the items must be submitted. You must submit two entries in Zapp, one for each category. (Prints or giclees are expected and do not need to be entered under the reproduction category.) Images of the items may be grouped together if necessary. These items may not make up more than 20% of the display space in the booth and cannot include T-shirts or caps or other clothing items.

Apply online through www.zapplication.org.If applicant is not currently registered on Zapplication, it will be necessary to register and create an artist's profile. 5 images of work and 1 image of booth display must be uploaded. Detailed instructions for image requirements are available on Zapplication's website. Submit the $30 jury fee through Zapplication. Complete the Festival's application on Zapplication and submit by midnight on April 1, 2013.

Note: If an artist is unable to process and prepare an application on Zapplication, the Festival will digitally process a limited number of applications for an additional fee. Call the office for details.

Two exhibitors (only) may share a booth ($75 additional charge per weekend). Submit one entry per exhibitor and designate one person responsible for fees.

Upon acceptance, one image for each exhibitor will be chosen for the website gallery (proper lighting, strong colors, and plain background work best). If no such image is available, exhibitor will not be represented on the website.


April 1, 2013 Deadline for applications to be submitted on Zapplication.

April 16, 2013 Notification of jury status through Zapp and by e-mail. (Please no calls:) Details such as weekend assignment, booth size and type, and balance due will also be sent.

May 1, 2013 Deadline for invited artists to accept via Zapp: Payment of 50% of Balance Due is due by 5 pm today. Pay directly to Rio Grande Festivals, NOT through Zapp. We accept checks or credit cards. (Credit card payments are subject to a handling fee.)

June 15, 2013 Remainder of fees due today. Last day for refund less $100 charge if canceling. Payment plans available. (See full cancellation policy in Guidelines and Regulations.)

OCTOBER 2013 Show
SETUP Thursdays: October 3 & 10, 10 am to 6pm; Fridays: October 4 & 11—Finishing Touches 7 am to 8:30 am. (no load-in). Show opens at 9 am.
Exhibitors who have not called or checked in by 3 pm on Thursday will be considered a no-show and will forfeit their booth.


BOOTH DISPLAYS AND STRUCTURES Work that is presented attractively can be an important factor in sales as well as a positive contribution to the overall appearance of the show. Please plan your booth carefully and make sure it's attractive and easy for customers to come in and look at your work.

  • Each booth must have solid fire-proofed display panels or draping on the back and sides to create a partition between booths as well as a backdrop behind it. Open shelving or grids should have a solid panel behind them. Exhibitors who do not provide partitions must rent pipe and draping from the Festival. Canopy frames may be used, but canopy walls are not a professional look for indoors. Do not use canopy tops indoors.
  • Tables must be covered or skirted to the floor on all sides showing, with a suitable, professional looking cover.
  • Storage bins, back stock, wrapping materials etc. should be concealed from view
  • Display a sign with your name or your company name.
  • Carpet is not recommended for the October show.
  • No "Sale" or "Discount" signs. All signs should look professional.
  • No signs or flyers advertising other shows or businesses.
  • Displays must be contained within booth boundaries and may not interfere with adjacent booths or aisle space in any way (no over hangs or extensions).
  • Exhibitor's chairs must be inside booth at October show. Exception, booths on back row, G or H may have two chairs, or one chair and a very small table, across from booth against tent wall, BUT no ice chests, dollies, lunch boxes, packing materials, or other belongings allowed in aisle as it detracts from the professional look of the show. Plan to keep those items inside your booth.
  • Tent poles may be near your booth, or in front of it. They are 8" in diameter and may be used to display items.
  • Do not attach anything to the tent walls, or draping.
  • Outdoor canopies must be well weighted on all corners. Staking is allowed.
  • Exhibitor will reimburse Festival for inflicting damage to premises or equipment.
  • All exhibitors are responsible for keeping their area clean during show hours, including clean-up at end of show.


ELECTRICITY AND LIGHTING October electricity is $85 per weekend. Electricity is not available to outdoor booths. There is a 400-watt limit per booth, strictly enforced. 15 foot indoor spaces may use an additional 200 watts for an additional fee of $85 for both wknds. When 2 artists purchase 2 10x10's side by side, 2 outlets must be purchased. There is general lighting inside the tent. Anyone not complying with the wattage limit will lose electrical privileges. Further details provided with acceptance.

SECURITY Police officers are on duty during the Festival’s open hours. Overnight security is also provided, but each artist is ultimately responsible for their own work. There will be full- time security between the weekends when we are closed (Sunday night through Thursday) however, anything left inside the tent is ultimately at the exhibitor's risk. Neither the Festival nor its employees, directors, volunteers, security or insurance company are financially liable for losses or damages of any kind. Exhibitors should make arrangements with their own insurance companies for proper coverage. Exhibitors must cover/close their booths when show is closed. Inventory left during the week must be covered and secured to protect it from wind and rain and condensation that can form inside the tent and drip on work. Outdoor booths should break down between weekends, but may leave some display items and covered inventory in lowered and well weighted or staked canopies.

EXHIBITOR PARKING will be across the street to allow customers to park in the closest parking spaces. We appreciate your cooperation.

RV PARKING will be available on site for an additional $45 per weekend per vehicle. No facilities or hook-ups available. No tent camping.

CARGO TRAILER PARKINGis available at no extra cost inside the fenced festival site. First come first served, space is limited. Trailers may be left during the week.


SALES TAX & BUSINESS REGISTRATION Sales tax in NM is 7.0% for the October show. You are responsible for collecting and reporting it. We will have tax packets available for you. City of Albuquerque business registration license (required for the October show only) is $35. This form will be e-mailed to you, and business registration personnel will be on site so that you can pick up your license.

RESTRICTIONS Festival Management reserves the right to remove items that have been falsely entered or are found to be manufactured, imported, not made by the artist, or any that are unsuitable or objectionable for a family-oriented Festival, This includes music, noise, scents, printed materials or anything else that the management finds objectionable. Refunds will not be given in these cases. Music booths must provide headphones for customers to listen to the music. Live musical demonstrations must be limited to a total of 15 minutes per hour.

CHILDREN AND PETS Pets are not permitted at the Festival, unless they are for handicap assistance. Children must stay with you in your booth and may not freely roam around the show. They are welcome to visit the Kids Creation Station™, please limit this to one hour per day.

CANCELLATION POLICY Cancellations must be received before June 15, for the October show. A $100 penalty will be deducted from the refund. After above mentioned dates, refunds will be made for 50% of the booth fees. Six weeks before opening day of the show, August 23, refunds will be made for 20% of the total fees. This policy also applies to exhibitors who have signed up for both weekends of the October show and cancel one weekend. If total booth fees are not received in our office by designated deadline, booth may be cancelled and resold without refund.

PAYMENT PLANS Contact our office for options.