ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) — As the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta enters its final weekend, organizers are hoping there will be no more cancellations due to weather.
The hot air balloon festival, now in its 50th year, has seen grounded balloons four out of eight sessions since it opened on October 1. Visitors with tickets for those days are out of luck with refunds.
Paul Smith, executive director of the Balloon Fiesta, told KOAT-TV that officials emphasize that the entire event is weather dependent. Being a non-profit company, they cannot issue refunds.
Rain checks can be issued for that same week. But usually not beyond.
A couple from Aberdeen, Scotland, lamented that there was a cancellation this week on the only day they had in Albuquerque. However, Laura Clark and Stuart Russell say they will try again next year.
Smith says visitors can call the main office and explain their situation to see how to get a rain check for next year.
“We try to make it affordable for everyone,” he said.
As one of the most photographed events in the world, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has become an economic engine for the state’s largest city and a rare – and colorful – opportunity for enthusiasts to reach out of hand when the giant balloons are unwrapped and inflated.
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