ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Following the cancellation of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in 2020 due to COVID-19, this year’s 49th event has returned hot air balloons to the skies. AIBF Media Relations Director Tom Garrity discusses the challenges Fiesta officials encountered and how they were able to adapt.
This past year has been unusual for organizers since they typically plan for the event a year in advance. Due to the pandemic, there was much uncertainty surrounding the 49th event which was initially scheduled to take place in 2020.
Once it was postponed to 2021, Garrity says Fiesta organizers rallied to make sure the 2021 Fiesta would be a success. The delay allowed organizers to focus on new changes including cashless services and mobile phone access.
Garrity explains that staff has been planning for the Fiesta’s much-anticipated 50th event for the last three to four years. The 50th event will take place in 2022.