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Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta expecting 600 balloons this year; tickets on sale July 2

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico -- Plans for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta are moving forward, with tickets set to go on sale July 2 at

Albuquerque's KOB-TV reports that approximately 600 balloons are expected to participate in the fiesta, which was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

"When we had to postpone last year's event, almost every pilot said 'but I want to be back next year. Can I be on the list for next year.' We're seeing a lot of those same pilots come back," said Amanda Molina, who works in media relations for the Balloon Fiesta.

Molina said workers are trying to figure out how a Balloon Fiesta will look in a world with Covid-19.

"That's what we're working on right now, and guests can expect some of that to roll out this summer," she said.

Scott Appelman, president and CEO of Rainbow Ryders, was optimistically hoping this day would come. In fact, he already has around 50 balloons ready to go.

"It's been a tough time for everybody. Balloon Fiesta is one of the happiest times of the year for so many people here in New Mexico and across the world," he said. "We're looking forward to seeing them out there this year."

Appelman says he's been flying with Covid-safe practices since the summer, sanitizing, limiting the number of people and wearing masks.

Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

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