13 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2022 Media Guide [CONTINUED] COOL THINGS TO SEE & DO BALLOON FIESTA PINS Balloon pins have become an important tradition within Balloon Fiesta. These yearly emblems are the most collected, most traded and most talked about merchandise at the Balloon Fiesta. There are 60,000 pins sold every year, and they come in all shapes and sizes—just like the balloons themselves. There are official event pins, commemorative pins, special event pins, gas balloon race pins and collectible pins from previous Balloon Fiestas. On the first Sunday and the second Saturday Balloon Fiesta hosts “Trading Only” sessions in the Group Tours Tent near the north end of Main Street with no selling of pins allowed. It gives pin traders a chance to meet with fellow collectors and admirers from all over the world. For the pin traders in training, a brief discussion is presented with an overview of the pin trading phenomenon and an introduction to the hobby. HERITAGE PINS In 2005 the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Heritage Committee established the Heritage Pin, a limited-edition commemorative pin honoring pioneers in ballooning, and the Balloon Fiesta in particular. The Heritage Pin is awarded every year in recognition of those who have perpetuated the legacy they’ve helped to create. Heritage Pin Honorees 2022- Paul Smith is Balloon Fiesta’s Executive Director and has been for the last 25 years. Paul, a lawyer by professional background, assumed leadership of the organization the year after Balloon Fiesta moved to the current Balloon Fiesta Park. Many improvements to the park enjoyed by balloonists and guests today, have happened under his watch, including a fully grassed launch field, VIP guest experiences, Bike Valet, expanded RV parking, Music Fiesta, Chainsaw Carving exhibitions and more. 2021 - Mark Sullivan is a pilot, competitor and event organizer in both hot air and gas ballooning. He earned his commercial hot air balloon license in 1983 and gas rating in 1985, currently has 3330 hours. In 1995 he founded the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race held annually at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

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