Balloon Museum Exceeds 1 Million Visitors

Balloon Museum Exceeds 1 Million Visitors

ABQ Museum Achieves Attendance Milestone

The Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum reached a milestone recently when its cumulative attendance exceeded 1 million visitors.

Attendance has reached 1,001,753 from June 4 since the Balloon Museum’s 2005 opening. The one million mark was surpassed during the annual ABQ Folk Fest on June 3.

“What’s special about reaching this record during the Folk Fest is how the museum, inside and out, is incorporated into that event,” said museum manager Paul Garver in a press release. “Virtually every square inch of open space at the museum is used by performers, which means that we had thousands of people that day, including families and kids of all ages, enjoying a community-building experience while exploring the history, science and beauty embodied by the Balloon Museum.”

Currently, the Balloon Museum’s annual attendance is on par with last year’s record-setting total attendance of 133,748, according to Garver. In the last several years, the museum’s annual attendance has skyrocketed by nearly 50 percent.

The Balloon Museum was awarded the rare title of “FAI Recommended Museum” by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in 2015. The FAI Recommended Museum Program exists to recognize notable museum collections of an aeronautical nature which are used to further the education of the public, particularly children, in the history and practice of air sport, aeronautics and astronautics and/or commercial or military aviation.

This past year, the Balloon Museum opened the Tim Anderson 4-D Theater and an exhibition, “Arctic Air: The Bold Flight of S.A. Andrée,” which explores the history and technology behind an 1897 attempt to reach the North Pole by gas balloon. In August, the Balloon Museum will open “The Weather Lab,” an immersive and interactive meteorology exhibition.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.