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Is The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta for

everyone?
Date: April 30th, 2016
New Mexico

By: Dania Al-Daouk

Table of Contents
Abstract..1

Introduction..2

Methodology2&3

Results..4&5

Discussion of Results...5

Final Recommendation/ Conclusion6

References7

Abstract:
The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta has been around since 1972, when they
started out with merely 13 balloons taking off. Many people around the
world come every year to watch the thousands of balloons take flight
whether during the day or night.
But is it really accessible to everyone? For individuals who depend on a
wheelchair, hard of hearing, or visually impaired, are they also able to
experience what everyone says is the best part of the year?
I have implemented a three-way research plan that will determine whether
or not the annual Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is an event that everyone can
attend.

Balloons Taking Flight


2,500
2,000
1,500
1,000
500
0
1972.0 1978.0 1988.0 2000.0 2015.0

Number of Balloons
Taking Of

1.

Introduction:
The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is an annual event that started in 1972.
This Fiesta consists of over a thousand balloons taking flight whether
during the day or night. The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta event happens
over a time span of a week, and each day it has different themes. This past
year, in 2015, local citizens were asked to vote on the themes, and
therefore the themes were the following:
Poetry in Motion
Here we Glow Again
Where dreams Take Flight
Got lift?
Although the annual Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta has more than just
Balloons taking flight, is it up to date on the things necessary to be
accessible for everyone? Meaning, does it have signs that everyone can
easily understand? As well as smooth walk ways for those who depend on
a wheelchair for mobility?
This report is made up of three research ideas that will help
determine whether the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is an event that
everyone can truly attend.

Methodology:

I decided to use a three-part plan in order to determine whether or not the


Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is an event that everyone can attend.
1. Determine Cost/Benefit
2. Determine Alternative New Mexico Events that everyone
attend
3. Survey locals who have mobility issues, and those who are
visually or hearing impaired who have attended Balloon
Fiesta Every year.

2.

1. Determining Cost/Benefit
To determine Cost/ Benefit I will be looking at the following:
Cost of Admissions
Parking Fee
Time spent getting there vs. Time of the event
Price and quality of food
This will help determine first whether or not it is worth visiting the Balloon
Fiesta in the first place.

2. Determining Alternative New Mexico Events that everyone


can attend
To help determine alternative New Mexico events that everyone can
attend, I plan on researching local events, such as:
Carlsbad Caverns
Sandia Tram
Santa Fe Opera House
White Sands National Monument
When looking into each of the events, I will focus on which events offer a
safer environment for all those who have mobility issues, or those who are
impaired in any way. I will look for events that offer signs that are easily
understood, and those that are wheelchair accessible.

3. Survey of locals who have mobility issues, or those who are


visually or hearing impaired who have attended the Balloon
fiesta before.
In order to help determine if the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is an event in
which everyone can attend, I have created the following survey questions:
Was it easy for you to navigate throughout the event?
Would you recommend this event to others who have mobility
issues, and or who are impaired in any way?
Would you add any changes to the event so that it can be better in
the future? What would those be?
3.
I will give this survey to three of my local neighbors, and I will be asking
the questions and noting their answers to each of the three questions.

Results
1. Determining Cost/Benefit
The admissions cost to enter the Balloon Fiesta is roughly $10 per visit,
those twelve and under have a free admissions pass. The parking fee is
roughly $15 per car. Now depending on whether or not people want to see
the morning lift off, or the Balloon Glow determines whether or not you
will have to not only pay for parking, but also when you must leave your
home if you are a local resident. If interested in the morning glow, the
resident must leave their house around three or four in the morning, in
order to get ahead of the ridiculous traffic and get a decent nearby parking
spot.
In terms of things to do inside of the event, there are many games that one
can play, which also cost a certain amount of money. The food is very
much over-priced; but they have good options of food, either breakfast
burritos, or funnels cakes depending on whether or not you have a sweet
tooth. They also offer multiple beverage options, Hot chocolate, coffee,
and many others to keep you warm while you wait for the balloons to take
flight.
If you were to attend the Balloon Glow, admission is the same, as well as
the parking fee. While the food options do change, the food is still of good
taste. During the balloon glow, they also have many music performances
so you can sit and relax to some good music while waiting until the sun

sets to watch the Glowing balloons take flight. This event also brings in a
large sum of money to the state as well.

2. Determining Alternative New Mexico Events that everyone


can attend
Besides the Balloon Fiesta there are many other events that one can attend
instead of the Balloon Fiesta. Theres the Carlsbad caverns, The Santa Fe
Opera House, White Sands National Monument, and of course the Sandia
Tram. Although only a few of these places named are really up to date on
certain standards, such as taking into consideration those who are impaired
in anyway. The Sandia Tram has multiple signs that are easy to understand,
including some with words, and pictures to get the main point across to
everyone. The tram itself is very spacious, allowing for wheelchairs to fit,
so everyone can enjoy the view as they are going up the mountain. The
walkway is also smooth to a nice restaurant up there as well.
4.
The signs that do have words on them; are also available in Braille, for
those who are visually impaired.

3. Survey of locals who have mobility issues, or those who are


visually or hearing impaired who have attended the Balloon
fiesta before.
When surveying individuals who have visited the Albuquerque Balloon
Fiesta before I received the following feedback:
Was it easy for you to navigate throughout the event?
o It was a little difficult getting through everyone and trying to
keep up with my family, and it is overwhelming with the
amount of people there. Annie (75 year old elderly
neighbor)
Would you recommend this event to others who have mobility
issues, and or who are impaired in any way?
o I think I would recommend this, simply because its about
being with family, and this definitely brings my family
together in the best way possible. Lucas (Veteran)
Would you add any changes to the event so that it can be better in
the future? What would those be?

o More room so I can go throughout the park without feeling


as if someone is pushing me to hurry up Annie
o More signs for the kids, so as to not wander off, or go
somewhere they are not supposed to -Lucas

Discussion Of Results
When researching the Cost/ Benefit analysis, this was the first step in
figuring out whether or not visiting the Albuquerque Balloon fiesta was
something worth doing in general. The prices found, and overall
entertainment that is included in the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is
definitely worth it. If you do not mind waking up early to overlook
thousands of balloons taking flight at sunrise then this is the event for you.
When researching other local New Mexico events that are accessible by
everyone, I only came across one other event that fulfills that, that being:
The Sandia Tram. The other events researched are not recommended for
those with mobility issues, or those who are impaired in any way. The
Sandia Tram offers a safe travel up the
5.
mountain. The Tram is spacious and wheelchair friendly, and also at the
top of the mountain there is also a restaurant. The tram has many signs as
well as a voice over in the tram itself guiding people on what to do and
what not to do. The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is also a safe event that
everyone can attend as well. With a few adjustments it can be even better: I
suggest adding more signs not only with words but also pictures; so that all
who come in contact with them easily understand the message being
presented. I also suggest the event add a designated area in which only
those who have mobility issues, as well as impaired in any way, can
navigate through the event. This being so that they do not feel
overwhelmed, with the amount of people around them pushing their way
through.
Overall The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta allows a safe and fun
environment where everyone can enjoy themselves, with either just
watches the Balloons take off, or taking part in one of the many activities
that it offers.
When surveying locals about the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, the
same conclusion was reached: The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is a good
place for safe family fun. Both surveyors: Annie, a local elderly neighbor
of mine; and, Lucas; a Veteran from my work, agreed that there could be

some minor changes to the event to make it more accessible, and easier for
everyone. That being said, in order to make it easier for individuals like
Annie and Lucas, adding a designated walkway for those who have any
disabilities would be the best solution.

Final Recommendation and Conclusion


In conclusion I do think that the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, with
some minor changes, could be an event in which everyone can attend.
Simply with some minor changes, I feel as if adding a designated area in
which only those who have mobility issues, as well as impaired in any
way, can navigate through the event is the best solution. This being so that
they do not feel overwhelmed, with the amount of people around them
pushing their way through. Cost and benefit wise, this is the cheapest
route, and will produce a large positive review. Since this event does bring
in a large sum of money to the state annually, by adding this walkway for
those with disabilities, more people will be able to attend the event,
bringing in even more money to the state.
I recommend visiting the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, since it is a
fun local attraction that is accessible to everyone. Also it is yearly, so if for
some reason you are not able to go this year, there is always next year.
6.
Works cited:

http://www.balloonfiesta.com/
o "The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta - Welcome to the
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta." The Albuquerque
International Balloon Fiesta - Welcome to the Albuquerque
International Balloon Fiesta. Government of Albuquerque, n.d. Web. 30
Apr. 2016.
http://www.sandiapeak.com/
o "Sandia Peak Tramway." Sandia Peak Ski & Tramway -. N.p., n.d. Web.
30 Apr. 2016.
https://prezi.com/dczlawohvdu4/untitled-prezi/
https://www.santafeopera.org/
o "The Santa Fe Opera." Santa Fe Opera House. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr.
2016.
https://www.nps.gov/cave/index.htm

o United States. National Park Service. "Carlsbad Caverns National Park


(U.S. National Park Service)." National Parks Service. U.S. Department
of the Interior, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.
https://www.nps.gov/whsa/index.htm
o United States. National Park Service. "White Sands National Monument
(U.S. National Park Service)." National Parks Service. U.S. Department
of the Interior, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.

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