Up, up and away.
Kudos to those dedicated hot air balloonists and the city of Albuquerque for powering through pandemic safety regulations and making the skies above Albuquerque a little more colorful this fall.
It looked gloomy in June when organizers of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta decided to postpone the 49th annual event due to the pandemic. Then the city invited local balloonists to participate in a series of scattered launches, and the idea took off.
Several dozen balloons are expected to take off beginning today at Balloon Fiesta, Ventana Ranch, Mariposa Basin, Vista del Norte and North Domingo Baca parks. Today’s and Sunday’s launches are part of “Lifting Spirits Aloft,” a coordinated effort around the world to honor health care and emergency first responders. Launches, which are closed to the public, are also expected Wednesday and Oct. 10 and 11 between 7 and 7:30 a.m.
Like other fall rituals, Halloween will be different this year due to the coronavirus. The city has canceled nearly all its Halloween events and is not encouraging trick-or-treating, although officials are working on a “Trunk or Treat” at Balloon Fiesta Park on Halloween night.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says trick-or-treating is a high-risk activity, while household pumpkin carving and “virtual” costume contests are low-risk. A complete list of Halloween activities and their associated risks can be found at www.cdc.gov.
It’s not what we’re used to, but getting to turn our eyes skyward for balloons, and having a COVID-19-conscious Halloween, should help not only keep residents safe but lift spirits across the metro area this month.
This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.