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November-December 2021 - FOLLOW-UP: The 49th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Balloons lift off during the 49th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
49th Annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta - ©New Mexico Entertainment Magazine

Balloons took flight in October for the 49th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. It was a welcome return after the event was postponed in 2020 due to COVID. While there three cancelled sessions due to weather, more than 540 balloons were flying through Albuquerque’s blue skies during the event. Tom Garrity, Media Director of the Balloon Fiesta and President of The Garrity Group, was excited to see the community support. “The energy around the community has just really been electric,” shared Garrity. “We have really found out who our friends are in the process. There was so much uncertainty for the longest time. The volunteer board rallied around and decided to make the 49th year the best it can be.”

The Fiesta produced some amazing numbers:

  • Total number of registered hot air balloons: 543

  • Total number of registered special shape balloons: 84

  • Total number of registered pilots (primary and additional): 648

  • Total number of America’s Challenge Gas Race teams: 4

  • Total number of estimated guest-visits: 783,866

  • Total number of media organizations: 138

  • Total number of registered media representatives: 787

  • Total number of views on Balloon Fiesta Live: 693,043

Seven countries were represented at this year’s Balloon Fiesta, including Brazil, Canada, France, Mexico, Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States. Organizers are excited to start planning next year's event, which will be the 50th Anniversary. For more information and to start planning for next year visit


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