September 29, 2009

Senators: Balloons Heading Home for Fiesta

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall reported today that the thirteen special shape balloons being held by a Chinese company are at the airport and bound for the U.S. just in time for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Bingaman and Udall have both asked the Chinese Embassy in Washington to intervene.

“This is terrific news for the thousands of New Mexicans and visitors to our state who are looking forward to Balloon Fiesta this year,” Bingaman said. “I appreciate the Chinese Embassy’s willingness to help resolve this problem.”

“New Mexicans and tourists from hundreds and thousands of miles away come to Albuquerque to watch the special shapes balloons light up the night skies and cruise by the Sandia Mountains during our crisp October mornings,” said Udall. “I’m happy this year will be no exception.”

According to news reports ten of the 13 special shapes balloons that have been held up in China were scheduled to take place in the Balloon Fiesta’s Special Shapes Rodeos on Oct. 8 and 9.

The balloons had traveled to China’s Inner Mongolia region for a mid-August balloon festival.

The balloons now making their way back to the U.S. include Darth Vader, Sunny Boy, Nelly-B the pink elephant, the World's Biggest Shopping Bag, Burnie the Little Devil, Woodrow Greenleaf, the Air Ball, the Golf Ball, Coco the Clown, the Snowman, and the Orange.

Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez contacted the senators to help assist in the effort.