More Than 850,000 Attend NM Hot-Air Balloon Fest

The annual hot-air balloon festival in NM says its attendance increased substantially this year over last. The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta reports 2013 attendance of just under 857,000. That's up from 714,000 in 2012. 554 balloons from 18 countries participated, according to the fiesta.    



    Balloonists fire their burners during Balloon Glow on the second day of the annual Albuquerque balloon fiesta 


    The Dawn Patrol floats overhead as pilots, including Jeff Hooten of Albuquerque, left, and Bruce Wood of Carbondale, Colo., center, listen during the pilots briefing at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 


    Spectators stand on El Pueblo Road near Paseo del Norte in Albuquerque, N.M. to watch the first mass ascension of the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.


    A balloon extends streamers from its gondola on the second day of the annual Albuquerque balloon fiesta.


    In this photo provided by the Catalyst, the balloon "New Mexico Sunrise" strikes a power line after launching during Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque.


    The Albuquerque Police Department Mounted Patrol Unit rides past inflating balloons during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. 
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