Updated: September 28, 2020 10:25 PM
Created: September 28, 2020 08:48 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —In any other year, hundreds of volunteers would be picking up trash across the city in preparation for the hundreds of thousands of visitors coming to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta.
The city’s Solid Waste Department usually hosts a large cleanup event to beautify Balloon Fiesta Park and surrounding areas in the days leading up to the Fiesta. This year, however, COVID-19 had other plans and forced officials to cancel the event.
Despite the cancellation, one Albuquerque woman decided to take it upon herself to lead a cleanup effort with the hopes that others will join in.
"There's always a cleanup, you know, let's get ready for our visitors and that's just not happening, so we want to continue that tradition,” said Ali Ennenga.
"We're proud of our state and it’s not just because we have visitors coming in,” she added. “We are proud of our state. We want to keep it clean, we want to keep it fresh, so just because they aren't coming doesn't mean we can't still do something about it."
Ennenga and a group of volunteers plan to clean up Alameda from 2nd Street to Jefferson. Those who are interested in helping can show up Saturday morning.
A spokesperson with the Solid Waste Department said while they couldn’t host their annual cleanup, they did coordinate with 21 neighborhood association groups. Last Saturday, around 200 people helped bag trash around their community that Solid Waste later picked up.
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