A permanent love of the Balloon Fiesta | KOB 4
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A permanent love of the Balloon Fiesta

Casey Torres
October 12, 2018 09:22 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – It's always buzzing at Gallo Negro Tattoo Studio, located just north of Central near Rio Grande Boulevard.

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That's especially true during Balloon Fiesta, when tourists stop by to get some ink. Their usual request—a hot air balloon.

"We have people from all over the world," Gallo Negro Owner Joshua Escobedo said. "We've had people from Rome and Italy, you know, people from San Antonio. People come up from Mexico, Canada. It's really like a worldwide event, so we see very eclectic people."

Escobedo estimates that the studio must have designed hundreds of unique hot air balloon tattoos on tourists through the better part of 10 years. New Mexico has the zia, chile pepper or roadrunner to represent the state, but the hot air balloon uniquely means Albuquerque to the rest of the world.

"There are other places that have balloon fiestas, but this is the biggest one around the world," Albuquerque native Ana Cano said. "I'm proud it happens here, and I'm proud to have a tattoo that commemorates that as well."

Like a souvenir or picture, a hot air balloon is a piece of Albuquerque that visitors can take with them. But unlike the colorful orbs that float into the sky, these tattoos don't stay tethered in New Mexico.

"When you put something on somebody from Rome and they go back, you know, halfway across the world to take that over there, your tattoo, per se, is traveling," Escobedo said. "So it gets to reach far expanses of the globe. It's pretty cool."

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Casey Torres

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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