Balloon Fiesta unveils new balloon to commemorate 50th anniversary

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A brand-new balloon was unveiled in front of a crowd at Balloon Fiesta Park Saturday morning to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta next year.

"This is a labor of love. This is actually a celebration of the first 50 years of Balloon Fiesta and it goes all the way back to when the founder Sid Cutter, which is represented in the very top of the balloon, started this event with this young lady behind me with 12 balloons and those 12 founders of balloon fiesta are actually represented on this balloon today, by having all of their balloons beautifully reproduced on this fiesta balloon,” said Sam Parks, director of operations for the Balloon Fiesta.

The special anniversary balloon was built at Balloon Fiesta over nine days, something that would normally take 4 to 5 weeks.

"Well, we had our entire team working on it," said Andrew Baird with Cameron Balloons. "We brought it down here in boxes. We had to cut it back home so we cut all the panels, we cut every little piece of artwork, we mapped out where it needed to go but all of the sewing was done right behind you in the Sid Cutter Pavilion, so this balloon truly was born at fiesta."

This year would have been the 50th Balloon Fiesta, but since it was postponed last year because of the pandemic, they said it’ll take place next year from Oct. 1-9.

"This will probably be flown during the year to sort of promote the 50th anniversary and then it will flying here next year," Baird said.