Mayor highlights security measures and upgrades for Balloon Fiesta

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – As the city counts down to Balloon Fiesta, we’re getting a look at how the city is preparing. 

Albuquerque police say as always there will be extensive law enforcement presence at the park. 

APD says there will be security on the field in uniform and some in plain clothes. 

Officers did want to stress no guns are allowed in the park. The Tag Your Tots program will be up and running, so you can have extra ease of mind in the crowds. 

This year, the mayor says they added a new alert system. 

“I will preview this year, we are going to be utilizing hopefully we won’t have to but if we need to our radial alert system. This is a way to alert people within a radius of the Balloon Fiesta of any issues that might be occurring, as opposed to alerting the entire county or the entire state,” said Mayor Tim Keller. 

Along with new safety measures, there have been a lot of updates to the infrastructure at the park too. For example, a new drainage system was put in at one end of the field. 

After last year, the city says it wanted to improve drainage to help avoid any pooling that’s historically a problem there.

Also new this year, the city will have bleachers on the west side of the field for people to watch balloons. 

Vendor Row also got a major makeover including repavement.

“We’ve also done some electrical improvements this year on Vendors Row, we’re gradually installing higher graded higher capacity electrical pedestals along Vendors Row for the vendors, which means and this is very important. This means that the coffee at this year’s Fiesta will be hot, and the burritos will be hotter,” said Dave Simon, executive director of the city’s Parks and Rec Department.