Balloon Fiesta vendors struggle with rainy weather

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – After a crazy night of thunderstorms and cancellations that forced people to shelter-in-place, Day 8 of the 50th International Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta kicked off with some more disappointments Saturday morning when the mass ascension was cancelled.

But the recent weather system didn’t only do damage last night, the lingering weather also caused some damage today.

“Today’s definitely been a rough patch, we were hoping balloons were going to go up today, and they just didn’t, so we are sitting on some product,” said Roan Carrillo, front end manager of JJ’s Concession. 

The most profitable times for a lot of vendors are when the balloons go up, and when the weather shuts that down it’s not good for business.

“We have a yellow flag up and it stays up and all of a sudden the crowd disperses like a mass exodus, and we don’t have the ability to continue to sell our product throughout the Balloon Fiesta, and that really does affect our total sale,” said Carrillo. 

For some– like JJ’s Concession –this event is what vendors need to help fully profit throughout the year.

“Chris, the owner, relies heavily on Balloon Fiesta and good weather to make sure he has the revenue for the rest of the year for the events he’s doing,” Carrillo said.  

Some vendors had positive outlooks on the rainy day. 

“Something we kind of expected so we did prepare for it, pretty sad about it. I was hoping it wasn’t going to rain at all but I didn’t expect it to. It kinda goes back to one of my favorite sayings: expect the worst, prepare for the best,” said Steven Vayding La Luz Coffee head of media. 

While balloons didn’t go up on Day 8, there is one day left of this special 50th balloon festival and visitors would love to see the balloons go up one more time and the vendors are right behind them on that idea too.

“I think tomorrow, Sunday, is going to be great, so I hope everyone comes out for that last special day of Balloon Fiesta,” said Vayding.