ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The city of Albuquerque is working to make sure everything is picture-perfect come Balloon Fiesta. That includes picking up all the trash scattered throughout town before all the visitors arrive.
You don’t have to tell businesses the importance of the Fiesta.
“I think it is probably our biggest tourist event and the biggest thing that brings people out of town into Albuquerque every year,” Bryan Pletta with the Midtown Arts and Entertainment Merchants Association said.
What do you do when you have guests coming into town? You clean up for them.
“People just throw out fast food wrappers and cups,” Pletta said. “There is unfortunately hypodermic needles that we find.”
KRQE News 13 spotted crushed liquor bottles, deflated balloons and styrofoam cups all along Balloon Museum Drive outside the park.
“It is something you need to keep on top of and do your best to clean it up,” Pletta said.
The city guarantees it will all be gone before Fiesta.
“The International Balloon Fiesta is such a huge event in our city, and I think for tourists and our residents alike, it’s just important that our city is kept beautiful,” Diane Wikler with the city’s Solid Waste Department said.
The city is hosting its annual cleanup event Saturday called, “Company’s Coming.” They expect 1,000 people to participate, not just cleaning up the park, but also neighborhoods around the city.
“Just kind of spruce things up and make things a little better for the fiesta,” Pletta said.
Altogether, 15 neighborhood and commercial associations are participating, like the Midtown Arts and Entertainment Merchants Association along Cutler.
“We just really felt it was a great opportunity to get the community together and clean up our neighborhood,” Pletta said.
They said it is the perfect opportunity to get the entire city ready for company.
“I think it’s really important when people come and visit that we give a great impression and make the city look great,” Pletta said.
Last year, the city collected nearly 3,500 pounds of trash during the Fiesta cleanup event. This year’s event begins Saturday morning at 9:00.
The city’s Solid Waste Department said it tries to focus on cleanup efforts year-round, and not just for the Fiesta. They said they usually hold about 15 cleanup campaigns a year.
To learn more about the event, click here.