Balloon Fiesta Begins

Oct 4, 2013

More than 600 balloons of all shapes and sizes and from all over the world are set to take to Albuquerque's crisp fall skies as Saturday marks the opening of the city's 42nd annual balloon fiesta.

The nine-day event, which fiesta board President Bill Walker says is probably the state's single largest tourism draw, this year has attracted balloonists from 35 states and 18 countries. It also draws thousands of spectators who can roam the city's 72-acre balloon park to watch the morning mass ascensions and events like the special shapes balloon rodeo and evening "glows," where the balloons are inflated but remain on the ground, lit up from the propane burners that fuel their flights.

A new event this year is a country western music fiesta, with headliner Darius Rucker.

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