Updated: 10/09/2013 5:30 PM |
Created: 10/09/2013 1:31 PM
By: Kim Tobin, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Many people want to leave Balloon Fiesta with a little something to remember it by, so they usually take home a few commemorative pins. But Albuquerque native Ginger Grossetete has been collecting these pins for 42 years--since the very first event.
"People are always saying to me, 'You need more pins,'" Grossetete said. "And I say, 'You're right, I do!'"
The sea of pins on Grossetete's jacket draws a lot of attention.
"In fact, they come up to me and they say, 'Are you Mrs. Steve Stucker?'" she said.
Grossetete keeps her vintage, valuable pins at home in a safe since she can lose some here and there as she takes her jacket off.
She says balloon fiesta is something she looks forward to every year and wants to show off to her family.
"It's so much fun to have someone with you who's never been here before because they are just so excited and so thrilled," she said.
Grossetete volunteers at the official soveniour booth each year.
"It just lifts your spirits because it's so beautiful and so peaceful," she said. "They're just cruising by. I just never tire of it. I just love it."
She watches the balloons take off every morning and says each new shape is yet another reason for a new pin.
"They are just spectacular," Grossetete said. "They get more and more spectacular all the time, so I have to keep buying more and more pins!"