ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s been two years since the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has liftoff into the metro-area skies. The Fiesta’s return takes center focus this week in the augural episode of KRQE News 13’s New Mexico News Podcast.

Join podcast hosts Gabrielle Burkhart and Chris McKee for an extended conversation about the Fiesta with two experts in the field. Balloon Fiesta spokesman Tom Garrity and Rainbow Ryders balloon company founder and president, Scott Appelman offer their perspective this week.

What was it like to take a year off from the nearly 50-year-old event? Will 2021 be the biggest Fiesta yet? Why didn’t organizers choose to enforce a COVID-19 vaccine requirement? What should you expect in terms of crowds? All of these questions and more are answered in this week’s episode.

Join Gabby and Chris for the New Mexico News Podcast every week, with new episodes available on Tuesdays. You can listen to the New Mexico News Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Podbean, and several other popular podcast players.

To find the show on your favorite podcast player, type “KRQE News” or “New Mexico News Podcast” into the search feature. Use the links above to find the podcast on each respective service, or listen in the audio player below.

If you have a question, comment, or suggestion for the podcast, let us know! Email the hosts at or