ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Looney Tunes and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta have deep ties. This year, those cartoon characters will be featured even more prominently. 

“Well, the connection with Warner Brothers probably started before any of us knew there was really a connection. Chuck Jones, the animator for Warner Brothers used a lot of the backdrops and the scenery from New Mexico in most of his animated cartoons,” said Jim Garcia, Balloon Fiesta Board Member. 

Chuck Jones, the animator for Warner Bros., was known to have an affection for New Mexico and its landscapes. When it came time to create posters for the Balloon Fiesta, incorporating the Looney Tunes characters was an easy choice. 

Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote were featured in the first posters. Pilots used the Road Runner-Coyote theme in their balloon chase at the first Balloon Fiesta in 1972.  

In recent years, Warner Bros. artist, Dan Killen, has become the official poster designer. “We are creating magic every day that we have a Balloon Fiesta and we know that for us to be able to align ourselves with Chuck Jones, the characters of Warner Bros. and to bring this all together in one spot in one place, it is magical,” said Garcia. 

But that’s not all folks. This year the parking lots will incorporate the Looney Tunes characters as well. The parking lots will be named after some of the famous characters. 

The goal is that people will have an easier time remembering their lots, so they don’t get lost like the most famous Looney Tunes character of all, Bugs Bunny. The lots will be named after Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Taz, Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, and Daffy Duck. 

“Looney Tunes are known internationally. This is an International Balloon Fiesta. So, if we picked characters and these Looney Tune characters over things that are more specific to New Mexico, there’s a better chance of our out-of-town guests and our out-of-country guests being able to identify and recognize what we have going on here at the Balloon Fiesta,” said Amanda Brady, transportation manager for the Balloon Fiesta.

There will also be t-shirts with the Looney Tunes theme for sale at the Balloon Fiesta.