News & Updates

Inside the Basket - Dave and Erin Bair, Balloon Fiesta Pilots

May 25, 2022

Dave and Erin Bair are a father-daughter duo who both pilot balloons at Balloon Fiesta. In fact, they have participated as pilots with Dave’s father and Erin’s grandfather, Ray Bai…


Inside the Basket - Samantha Greenwald, Balloon Fiesta Navigator Manager

April 21, 2022

Samantha Greenwald is Balloon Fiesta’s new Navigator Manager, joining the organization this month. In this month’s Inside the Basket, get to know Samantha’s ballooning backgr…


Inside the Basket - Tracey Hawkins, Balloon Fiesta Sponsorship Sales Assistant

March 10, 2022

As Balloon Fiesta’s Sponsorship Sales Assistant, Tracey Hawkins helps with a variety of tasks, including processing the contracts of sponsors and assisting with pin designs. In this mont…


Inside the Basket - Dave Reineke, Balloon Fiesta Pilot

February 22, 2022

Dave Reineke is a Balloon Fiesta pilot who has participated in the event the past 28 years. In this month’s Inside the Basket, he dives into what its like to pilot balloons with his wife…


Inside the Basket - Al Tetreault, Balloon Fiesta Board President

January 14, 2022

Al Tetreault has been a Balloon Fiesta Board of Directors member since 1991, and is Balloon Fiesta’s Board of Directors’ newly elected President. In this month’s Inside the B…


Inside the Basket - Eric Hodges, Balloon Fiesta Pilot

December 10, 2021

Eric Hodges is a pilot who has been flying at Balloon Fiesta for 35 years. In this month’s Inside the Basket, Eric shares how he once was the youngest pilot at Balloon Fiesta, his favor…


Inside the Basket - Taylor Caldwell, Balloon Fiesta Receptionist

November 18, 2021

Taylor Caldwell has been a part of the Albuquerque ballooning community since she was a child. And now, she has just wrapped up her first Balloon Fiesta as the organization’s receptionis…


Inside the Basket - Sara Lopez, First-Time Balloon Fiesta Guest

October 22, 2021

Sara Lopez was a first-time Balloon Fiesta guest at the 49th event.. In this month’s Inside the Basket, Sara talks more about her Balloon Fiesta experience and what it meant to share…


Inside the Basket - Amanda Brady, Balloon Fiesta Transportation Manager

September 27, 2021

Amanda Brady is Balloon Fiesta’s Transportation Manager. In this month’s Inside the Basket, Amanda shares her favorite tips on how to get to Balloon Fiesta Park. 1. Give a brie…


Inside the Basket - Michael Glen, Balloon Fiesta Pilot

August 24, 2021

Michael Glen is the first parapalegic pilot. He pilots Joelly Bee, a special shape balloon in the the famous bee trio. In this month’s Inside the Basket, Michael shares more about hi…


Inside the Basket - Denise Winn, Balloon Fiesta Navigator

July 26, 2021

Denise Winn is a Balloon Fiesta Navigator who has been involved with the event since 1986. In this month’s Inside the Basket, Denise explains how volunteering at Balloon Fiesta has crea…


Inside the Basket - Sam Robey, First-Time Balloon Fiesta Pilot

June 24, 2021

During Sam Robey’s first balloon ride, he proposed to his girlfriend. Now, nearly 30 years later, he will pilot a balloon at Balloon Fiesta for the first time and she is his wife and cre…


Inside the Basket - Victoria Schultz, Balloon Fiesta Trolley Team Lead

May 17, 2021

Victoria Schultz is a Balloon Fiesta Navigator and the co-team lead for Balloon Fiesta’s Trolley Team. In this month’s Inside the Basket, she shares more about her typical day dur…


Inside the Basket - Matt Guthrie, Balloon Fiesta Board of Directors President

April 28, 2021

Matt Guthrie is the President of the Balloon Fiesta Board of Directors. In this month’s Inside the Basket, Matt shares his favorite Balloon Fiesta memory, how he became involved with Ba…


Inside the Basket - Lynn Tillery, Balloon Fiesta Navigator

March 24, 2021

Lynn Tillery is a Launch Director at Balloon Fiesta who has been involved with the event since 1982. In this month’s Inside the Basket, she walks us through a typical Balloon Fiesta day…


Inside the Basket - Bill Bussey, Balloon Fiesta Pilot

February 23, 2021

Bill Bussey is an award-winning, Balloon Fiesta pilot, who has been involved with the event since 1977. In this month’s Inside the Basket, Bill delves into his ballooning background, of…


Inside the Basket - Jennifer Schurman, Balloon Fiesta RV and Navigator Manager

January 20, 2021

Balloon Fiesta’s RV and Navigator Manager, Jennifer Schurman helps create a memorable experience for RV guests and Balloon Fiesta volunteers during the event. In this month’s Insi…


Inside the Basket - Barry Conley, Balloon Fiesta Navigator

December 16, 2020

Barry Conley has been a Balloon Fiesta Navigator for 30 years. Though he started with a variety of procurement roles, he now helps the news media experience the magic of Balloon Fiesta, as par…


Inside the Basket - Paula Craner, Balloon Fiesta Navigator

November 12, 2020

Paula Craner is a Balloon Fiesta Navigator that helps answer guest questions at the Balloon Fiesta front desk. In this month’s Inside the Basket, Paula shares insight to frequently aske…


Inside the Basket - Blair Morrison, Balloon Fiesta Navigator

October 26, 2020

Blair Morrison became involved with Balloon Fiesta during his time working with a local news television station and eventually transitioned to becoming a Balloon Fiesta Navigator. He now has v…


Inside the Basket - Keith Takach, Balloon Fiesta pilot

September 17, 2020

Keith Takach is a Balloon Fiesta pilot who first started competing in ballooning events in 2004. Now, Keith competes regularly because he loves the challenge of precision flying. In this mont…


Inside the Basket - Ursula Richards, Balloon Fiesta pilot, Navigator and pin collector

August 18, 2020

Ursula Richards wears many hats during Balloon Fiesta. She pilots a special shape balloon during the event, is a team lead for the Balloon Fiesta Trolley team and is an avid Balloon Fiesta pin…


Inside the Basket - Michelle Healy, Balloon Fiesta Chief Launch Director

July 14, 2020

As a Balloon Fiesta Launch Director, Michelle Healy helps balloons safely take flight. In this month’s Inside the Basket, Michelle shares more about how pilots are cleared for takeoff an…


Inside the Basket - Nancy Abruzzo, Balloon Fiesta Welcome Committee International Pilots Team Leader

May 27, 2020

Nancy Abruzzo is a Balloon Fiesta Navigator who helps create a seamless event for first-time Balloon Fiesta pilots. She has also created a Balloon Fiesta-based children’s book that bring…


Inside the Basket - Kimberleigh Gavin and Paul Gavin, Balloon Fiesta Shirt Artists

April 28, 2020

Kimberleigh and Paul Gavin are the two artists who have created the design for the 2020 Balloon Fiesta retro tee-shirts. Their design features balloons, both the real and imaginary, that illus…