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Every year, during the first week of October, the skies above Albuquerque fill up with a magnificent array of colorful hot air balloons.
The annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta began in 1972 when 13 participants launched from a mall parking lot. The event has ballooned into an annual event with over 600 participants launching from their own 365-acre ‘Balloon Fiesta Park'. The 9 day long Fiesta is the largest hot air balloon event in the world.
There are balloon launchings throughout the day and night, and a variety of different themed launches like the ‘Special Shape Rodeo'. Visitors can picnic at the park, walk through the balloons as they prepare to launch, and even sign up to help pilots prepare for take off and deflate the balloons after landing.