The Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta Is Cancelled
I see the pictures every year, and I really planned to see it in person this time around. However, it looks like I will be waiting until 2021 to witness the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta first hand. Officials have made the decision to cancel this year's Balloon Fiesta due to the coronavirus and Covid-19.
This year's festival would have been the 49th time the huge event has been held. It will now be pushed back to October 2-10, 2021. Festival planners say that means the 50th celebration will now take place in 2022. The decision to postpone was made by a fully volunteer board of directors. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the largest balloon rally in the world. Last year, they reported 588 balloons participating, with origins all across the United States and from other countries. Last year's attendance was over 866,000. That is a lot of people that visit the Albuquerque area during the 10 day event.
In a statement posted on the Albuquerque Journal's website, Matt Guthrie, president of the board, said “the safety of our pilots, guests, sponsors, staff and volunteers has always been our top concern, and in the wake of COVID-19 and its continued impacts, we must stay dedicated to upholding that commitment.”
There were talks on alternative ways to hold a festival this year. Those discusiions included an event where attendance would be cut way down, and also a Cyber Balloon Fiesta that would be streamed online. Neither one of those options seemed to be the right way to hold this annual tradition.