ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - It's Balloon Fiesta time, which means you can hear the ka-ching of cash registers all over Albuquerque.
And that welcome sound can't come soon enough in one the city's most recognizable places.
Expect to hear everything from mariachi to rock music echoing from Old Town throughout the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The city and the Old Town Merchant's Association announced the lineup Friday, but businesses here also used it as a way to thank the city for stepping in.
"We had a few little problems," OTMA President Sally Moon told KRQE News 13.
One of those problems was former association president David Rendon who took off during the summer allegedly with $20,000 of association money. Moon says if the city hadn't stepped in to print maps of Old Town, which are crucial for getting tourists around the area, the OTMA would have folded.
She says this means businesses, which have been fighting to come back from the recession, would have suffered during their biggest week of sales.
"This is the No. 1 week of our lives here," Moon said.
Business already has picked up.
"A lot of customers coming in, so we're all doing good right now," merchant Jason Lovato told KRQE News 13.
The attractions start Saturday morning with an artist's market followed by live entertainment in the Old Town gazebo. There's something planned each day in Old Town through the final Sunday of Balloon Fiesta.
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