Final preparations for Balloon Fiesta underway

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The hundreds and hundreds of people involved in Balloon Fiesta will have a busy day Saturday – from the pilots and crews, to all of the people serving up great food and hot drinks.

At Balloon Fiesta Park Friday, everyone was working hard to tie up loose ends.

Jason Jones was at the park – he has been running souvenir tents at Balloon Fiesta Park with his family for decades. You might know him as the hat man.

“My dad was the original, and we’ve done the balloon hat out here since 1985,” Jones said.

Out at the park, Rex’s Hamburgers was also setting up shop. This will be the 26th year that Rex and his family have been serving burgers at burritos at Balloon Fiesta. They start prepping the food at 1:30 a.m.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Rex Thompson said. “My sister absolutely loved it out here. She’s not with us anymore, but she absolutely loved the Fiesta and she’s the one that got me out here, of course.”

Balloons aren’t the only thing that will be in the air during this Balloon Fiesta – there’s love, too.

“I was so head over heels in love with that there was no way I couldn’t pursue it and make it happen,” said Tony Grabara.

Grabara and April Barrick were getting married at Balloon Fiesta Park Friday. 10 years ago, they met at the same corner of the Balloon Fiesta field.

“She’s been balloon crewing over 30 years, and I started crewing about 17 years ago,” Grabara said.

It’s the magic of Balloon Fiesta that brings people together. You can keep track of the latest Balloon Fiesta news here.