Inside the Basket - Amanda Brady, Balloon Fiesta Transportation Manager
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 brief overview of your position with Balloon Fiesta.
As transportation manager with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, my job is to work with our Albuquerque Police Department (APD) counterparts, the City of Albuquerque, surrounding Pueblos, as well as our shuttle and trolley teams to maintain an efficient flow of traffic for guests visiting the Balloon Fiesta. We want to make sure those coming to our event arrive safely and in time so they may enjoy Balloon Fiesta.
2. How did you become involved with the organization?
I became involved with the organization years ago, without knowing I would be here today. I have been on the other side of this event with the pilots and crew for thirty years with my family and friends. Now, with gratitude towards those I have known through the years, and now know, I am able to be a part of Balloon Fiesta from a different perspective, and assist in making this a positive experience for others, just as it has been for me.
3. At the 49th Balloon Fiesta, parking is available for those who plan to drive to the event. What should guests keep in mind if driving to Balloon Fiesta?
For those planning on driving to Balloon Fiesta, we have multiple parking lots around the east and south side of the Balloon Park. Many of these lots also have shuttle services to and from Balloon Fiesta Park to make it easier to cross the distance. We have handicap parking available as well, just call our main office with your placard number to register. APD and safety officers will be helping guide you to these lots, navigating you to your destination. We have navigators as you approach each lot to assist in the purchasing of your parking pass ($20) upon entry.
4. Park & Ride is another option for Balloon Fiesta guests. What is Park & Ride and what tips do you have for those leveraging this program?
Park & Ride is another option we have for transportation to Balloon Fiesta Park. We have three loacations (Hoffmantown Church, Cottonwood Mall, Coronado Mall) to accommodate the area of town in which you reside. These locations allow you to pre-purchase your tickets online and select your departure site and time. Upon arrival, you park, and our navigators will guide you onto buses, and we drive you to Balloon Fiesta Park, allowing you to sit back and relax. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta also drives you back to your car through your Park & Ride ticket. This ticket also includes your admission into Balloon Fiesta as well!
5. Are there options available for those who plan to ride a bike to Balloon Fiesta?
For those wanting to take two, un-motorized, wheels to The Balloon Fiesta, we have you covered too. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has a free Bike Valet, staffed by local cyclists and cycling groups (BikeABQ). This service is free of charge and allows you to store your bike at Balloon Fiesta Park worry-free. A two-part ticket system is used so you receive one ticket, and the other is attached your bicycle. Upon retrieval, you present you ticket and our valet team locates and returns your bike to you.
6. What transportation tips do you have for first-time Balloon Fiesta guests?
If you are a first time-guest of Balloon Fiesta, leave early, be patient, and look at all your options for attending our event! Figure out which option is best for you and your family or friends. Leave earlier than you typically think to best avoid traffic. There are quite a few guests to this event, so patience is key as well with your fellow guests, our navigators, and our safety personnel. We want to make sure everyone has a safe and memorable time.
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