ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – They are the stars of Balloon Fiesta, the special shapes. There will be 11 new ones this year, including one the kids are sure to love, plus two balloons with New Mexico ties.
They always catch your attention and cause the biggest smiles. This year, one special shape hot air balloon is sure to be a show stopper, “Allycorn,” a pink unicorn from Lake George, New York. She is one of 11 special shape balloons out of 104, making their debut at Balloon Fiesta. “Dicker Anton” from Germany will join her.
“Belzebuth” from Belgium will also visit Albuquerque for the first time, along with a baby monster, and a handful of new animals including a racoon, turtle and dog. Plus, “Duma” and “Roger the Panther” from Great Britain, who have a unique story.
“There’s a plantation there that’s preserving these animals. It’s an animal preserve, safari, and some of these animals actually live there,” said Sam Parks, Operations Director, Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
Also, some “hope” and a little “luck.” Plus, two other balloons that are sure to be big hits among New Mexicans.
“Billy the Kid has some history here in the State of New Mexico. He’s brand new this year with a couple of six-shooters,” Parks said.
The Chile Ristra is also returning after years of not visiting. Balloon Fiesta officials have been working year-round to recruit special shape balloon pilots from around the world.
A lot of favorites will return, like the bumblebee family, Darth Vadar and Yoda. But, one huge favorite can’t make it this year, “Airbelle the Cow.” Special shapes can be as tall as 150-feet and can cost up to $250,000.
“As long as you got the imagination and the money, you can get one of these built,” Parks said.
While Thursday and Friday of Balloon Fiesta are reserved for special shapes, a lot of them fly almost every day.
The Fiesta starts Saturday and runs through October 13 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.