Albuquerque, NM (October 1, 2012) – Carol Hils of Cincinnati, Ohio, has won a trip to the 41st Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta®, which starts this Saturday and runs October 6-14, 2012. Hils’ name was drawn from nearly 16,000 sweepstakes entries. This contest was presented by the Visit Albuquerque and Albuquerque area tourism partners.

Hils is a returning visitor to Albuquerque and most recently attended the Fiesta five years ago. She is a retired woman who frequently volunteers her time within her local community. Carol is planning to bring a friend, whose sister is an Albuquerque resident. Both women are really excited about their upcoming trip to Albuquerque.

“I’m thrilled about coming and I can’t believe I won with all those other entries. I’m really excited. I love the Southwest and I can’t wait to come back,” Hils said about the Balloon Fiesta contest.

By winning the sweepstakes, Carol and her friend will receive a $3,210 VIP package including:
• Three nights at Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid North
• A hot air balloon ride with Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Company on October 10th
• Three days admission to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® with VIP access to the Gondola Club Hospitality Suite
• Two tickets to The Lion King Broadway Musical at Popejoy Hall on Thursday, October 11th
• Admission to the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum
• Two official Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® jackets
• Rental car from Payless Car Rental
• $200 Visa Card to be used for airfare, gas or shopping

The 2012 festival marks the 41st celebration of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta®. Last-minute hotel accommodations are still available. Throughout the nine-day festival from October 6-14, visitors will enjoy many activities at Balloon Fiesta Park including the Mass Ascension of more than 500 balloons. While in town, visitors will discover the local cuisine, inspiring art and diverse culture of Albuquerque.

In addition to Balloon Fiesta programming, other city highlights include:
• Big Top Chocolate Festival: October 6-7
• ABQ Trolley Glow: October 6-8 & 11-12
• Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival-Balloon Fiesta Show: October 6-7 & 13-14
• Fall Indian Art Market: October 6-7 & 13-14
• New Mexico Brew Fest & Music Showcase: October 6
• Harvest Festival: October 13-14
• Rio Grande Community Farm’s Maize Maze: daily
• See complete list of other events during the Fiesta

Coupons from Albuquerque businesses are available for use throughout Balloon Fiesta at

If you aren’t able to experience the Balloon Fiesta in person, follow Carol’s adventure through our social media channels on Facebook or on Twitter: @VisitABQ.

Media: request video or photos via email at

The sweepstakes is available for local interviews. If you are interested, please email and we will connect you with Carol Hils.