Balloon Fiesta: What you need to know before you go

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — If you’re planning on heading to Balloon Fiesta Park, here’s a few things to keep in mind.

Guests will not need proof of vaccination, but there are some big changes this year due to COVID-19.

"We’re certainly following the CDC guidelines, which require masks indoors and outdoors in crowded outdoor settings," said Sam Parks, director of operations for the Balloon Fiesta.

The layout of the field is also going to be a little different this year.

"We spread out some of our most iconic balloons throughout the park to try and encourage people to not mass gather around the east side of the field," Parks said. "So you’re going to see some of our most favorable ballons, such as Airabelle, on the west side of the park."

There will also be more outdoor seating this year.

"All of our hospitality venues will be outside this year," said Paul Smith, executive director of the Balloon Fiesta. "There will be no indoor dining at all."

Visitors can also expect to see more cashless pay options and more sanitation measures.

Besides a mask, what else can be brought into the park? Officials said you can carry in one backpack – but it will be inspected. Clear bags are preferred to speed up the screening process. If you’re bringing a blanket or bulky clothes, put it over your shoulder to help security checks move quickly.

Folding chairs and food are also good to go.

Here is what is not allowed: weapons of any kind, animals (with the exception of service animals), glass bottles or hard-sided coolers, alcohol and religious or political paraphernalia.

For the latest on all things Balloon Fiesta, check out the Balloon Fiesta page on