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Rainbow Ryders Day on Thursday celebrates Balloon Fiesta economy

A Rainbow Ryders balloon launches from Balloon Fiesta Park in this file photo.

A Rainbow Ryders balloon launches from Balloon Fiesta Park in this file photo.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Community, tourism and political leaders are celebrating Rainbow Ryders Day on Thursday in honor of the 30th anniversary of the hot air balloon company and as a way to promote how the annual Balloon Fiesta is a key to the local economy.

Gov. Susana Martinez proclaimed Sept. 5 as the day. Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry and state Tourism Secretary Monique Jacobson will join community and business leaders from 5:30-7 p.m. at the company offices at 5601 Eagle Rock NE for a small celebration.

Rainbow Ryders president Scott Appelman has been with the company since 1984. The company offers more than 1,500 flights per years with 15 balloons, operating in New Mexico and Arizona. Appelman is a member of the New Mexico Tourism Hall of Fame.

He and his company have been an integral part of the Balloon Fiesta for decades.

The nine-day annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta begins on Oct. 5 this year.

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