ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Balloon Fiesta is just days away, and visitors will come from all across the country. The city has been getting ready for Albuquerque’s biggest event of the year. 

While Albuquerque Police (APD), State Police, and the sheriff will be on hand at the event, there’s also a new safety alert system the city is trying out for people near the event. 

“We are going to utilize, hopefully, we won’t have to, but if we need to, a radial alert system. This is a way to alert people in a radius of Balloon Fiesta of any issues that might be occurring,” said Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller.  

People in a one-mile radius of the park will get those notifications on their cell phones, but that’s not the only improvement this year. 

“We’ve taken ownership, improved, graded, and surfaced a brand-new parking lot in the northeast corner of [the] park, which has a large capacity for vehicles,” said Parks and Rec. Director Dave Simon.  

That will add around 750 parking spaces to the area. The city said the north end of the field should also be drier this year with a drainage system. Vendor Row has also been touched up.  

“We have also done some improved paving and pothole filling and general surface improvements along vendors row that’s a benefit, of course, to make a pedestrian visitor experience as safe as possible,” said Simon.  

Along with electrical upgrades for Vendor Row, pilots can look forward to better wind data with a new lidar system near the park. 

Balloon Fiesta Board Director Judy Nakamura said the weather system is going to give ground winds up to 400-500 feet, which is where the pilots will fly.