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City’s Chief Administrative Officer Takes “One Albuquerque” To New Heights

City departments finalize preparations for annual Balloon Fiesta.

September 28, 2018

Albuquerque’s Chief Administrative Officer, Sarita Nair, took to the skies this morning, alongside a number of City employees, on a hot air balloon ride with host Scott Appleman, president and CEO of Rainbow Ryders. A week ahead of the 47th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, event organizers, community members and City of Albuquerque departments are preparing for the state’s largest event.

Nair and several employees, representing various City departments who will be working to ensure a safe and successful nine-day event, took to the skies. Departments included: Albuquerque Police Department; Albuquerque Fire & Rescue; Parks & Recreation; Transit; Solid Waste; Department of Municipal Development; and Cultural Services. Each department plays a critical role during the Balloon Fiesta –from keeping attendees safe, bussing people to and from the event, to keeping the fiesta grounds clean.

Representatives from the Balloon Museum Foundation also joined the ride and discussion.

“Balloon Fiesta is a defining event for our city and it takes a lot folks working together to make it successful,” stated Mayor Tim Keller.  “As One Albuquerque, we work across City departments in concert with Balloon Fiesta organizers to create an amazing experience for those who attend.”

During the balloon ride, the prep work that goes in to such a large scale event was described as an “all hands on deck approach” in line with Mayor Keller’s philosophy - not only to tackling the city’s problems but also to maximize its opportunities.

“The Balloon Fiesta is Albuquerque’s opportunity to shine,” said Nair. “This event puts the greater Albuquerque area on the international map for all the right reasons. It also brings more than $100 million in economic impact to the area.”

The 2018 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta runs from October 6 – 14. This year’s theme is “Carry Me Away.”

Rainbow Ryders has been flying safely for 36 years and is the official hot air balloon ride operator at the Balloon Fiesta.