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Hope for good weather as Balloon Fiesta enters final days


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — As the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta flies into its final weekend, organizers are hoping there will be no more cancellations due to weather.

The hot air balloon festival, now in its 50th year, has seen balloons grounded four out of eight sessions since it opened Oct. 1. Visitors with tickets for those days are out of luck when it comes to refunds.

Paul Smith, the Balloon Fiesta’s executive director, told KOAT-TV that officials emphasize the whole event hinges on the weather. Being a non-profit corporation, they cannot give refunds.

Rain checks can be issued for that same week. But typically not beyond that.

One couple from Aberdeen, Scotland lamented that there was a cancelation this week on the one day they had in Albuquerque. However, Laura Clark and Stuart Russell say they will try again next year.

Smith says visitors can call the main office and explain their circumstances to see about getting a rain check for next year.

“We try to make it affordable for everyone,” he said.

As one of the most photographed events in the world, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has become an economic driver for the state’s largest city and a rare — and colorful — opportunity for enthusiasts to be within arm’s reach as the giant balloons are unpacked and inflated.

Article Topic Follows: AP New Mexico

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