Hot air balloon fiesta wraps up in Albuquerque

October 14, 2013 • State News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Colorful hot air balloons in all shapes and sizes bid farewell to Albuquerque for the year in a mass ascension Sunday.

The nine-day Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta drew balloonists from [auth] 35 states and 18 countries, and spectators from all around the world.

It began in a mall parking lot 42 years ago and is one of the state’s single largest tourism draws. Albuquerque residents anticipate balloons floating over the city each morning.

The weather allowed all but one of the 14 balloon events to take place during the fiesta.

The fiesta also had some accidents and hard landings. Rio Rancho police say a 68-year-old man was injured Sunday after the hot air balloon he was riding in hit a curb while trying to land.

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