International balloon fiesta to be focus of new exhibition

New Mexico

Hundreds of hot air ballooning pins are on display at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Thursday, March 5, 2020. Museum officials are planning for a new permanent exhibition to highlight the annual nine-day Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The fiesta will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A colorful spectacle often described as one of the world’s most photographed events will celebrate its 50th year in 2021.

Organizers of the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and officials at the international balloon museum are wasting no time planning.

They’ve already amassed $400,000 through donations and state and local funds.

They will be raising more money this year for a new permanent exhibition dedicated to telling the story of how New Mexico’s largest city became the ballooning capital of the world.

It will feature historical artifacts, virtual flights and a digital timeline.

The nine-day fiesta draws hundreds of thousands each year.

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