Two popular special shapes balloons won’t be at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta this year.
Chic-I-Boom and Uncle Sam, longtime fixtures at the Fiesta, will not be there this year because the Fiesta cannot help pay for the trip, said Fiesta Executive Director Paul Smith. Chick-I-Boom is a balloon shaped like a woman’s face with a fruit basket on top.
The Fiesta often helps defray the cost to bring pilots and balloons to the Fiesta. But the Fiesta had already spent its budget on special shapes by the time the pilot for those two balloons contacted officials, Smith said.
“They’re looking to have some of their expenses defrayed by us,” Smith said. “By the time they called us, we had already spent our budget on special shapes.”
Smith said space filled up quickly this year. Smith said the balloons are still welcome to come, but the Fiesta just can’t afford to help pay.