Final preparations for Balloon Fiesta underway

Posted at: 10/03/2013 8:22 AM
Updated at: 10/03/2013 9:06 AM
By: Elizabeth Reed,

Balloon Fiesta officials are making final preparations for the more than 700,000 guests expected at Balloon Fiesta Park during the nine-day festival.

"We are excited to welcome visitors to Albuquerque's largest event of the year," said Dale Lockett, President/CEO of the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau. "The Balloon Fiesta is a huge boost to both Albuquerque and New Mexico's economy and it provides us with a platform to gain international exposure. Anecdotal reports from our hotels say that bookings are very strong and it's going to be an excellent year for Balloon Fiesta."

The 42nd Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta will feature more than 500 balloons from more than 18 countries and 38 states in the U.S. Additionally, more than $90 million will be spend directly and indirectly at Balloon Fiesta.

"This event brings in hundreds of thousands of visitors and we hope residents will help us roll out the red carpet to welcome them to Albuquerque," Lockett said.

Officials will reveal more about improvements to Balloon Fiesta Park, community activities and the number of registered pilots at a media event on Thursday. The public safety team and traffic and parking team will also discuss the plan for rescue operations, issues with traffic and other public safety efforts.