ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Sid Cutter, who founded the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta almost 40 years ago that has turned into one of the city's signature events, died Saturday. He was 77.
Officials with the Balloon Fiesta said Cutter died in his sleep after a long battle with stomach cancer.
The Albuquerque-born Cutter is credited with organizing the first Balloon Fiesta in 1972.
The yearly event grew steadily for decades and now is considered one of world's largest hot air balloon festivals.
The nine-day event is held in Albuquerque in early October and is one of the city's biggest tourist attractions. It also serves as a major showcase of New Mexican culture and history.