ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A few hours before Balloon Fiesta there was plenty of activity on the field Friday as vendors prepared for the masses.
“Mass confusion, but good management overall. It’s a little different every year,” said Doyle Caton.
The field was empty but there was plenty of action on vendor row as vendors got ready for the most wonderful time of the year.
“The setup and everything is about as much fun as Fiesta itself,” Caton said.
“There will be over 20,000 people, and the glow and the special shapes, it’s a big deal,” said Trefor Lundal.
As you would expect, there will be plenty of turkey legs, donuts and burritos to go around — but there are a couple of new food vendors this year. New vendor JP’Z Concessions hopes to spice things up with a new twist on a New Mexico classic.
“We’re doing a really special one this year. It’s going to be the Hatch Green Chile Rise N’ Shine Crepe,” said John Ortega Jr.
The rain and lightning did shut down preps for almost two hours on Friday afternoon. Once things cleared up, the Fiesta’s only new merchandise, vendor, World Park Maps, rolled out something you’ll only find at Balloon Fiesta.
“It a one-of-a-kind map, it’s not sold on Amazon,” said David Tyroler.
Tyroler was a National Park ranger for 25 years. He created a scratch-off map that lists every National Park in the U.S. “Every map comes with three scratch-off picks and you scratch them off as you go,” Tyroler said.
Whether you’re trying something brand new or sticking with an old favorite, one thing’s true about Balloon Fiesta:
“People just can’t miss it,” Lundal said.
People who KRQE News 13 spoke with say they aren’t too worried about launching off the field. However, they are concerned about find landing spots that aren’t too muddy.
This year, there are 45 food vendors and 46 merchandise vendors.