ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The numbers have been tallied, and organizers of the world’s largest hot air balloon festival are calling this year’s event a success.
The annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta drew an estimated 866,414 guest visits over nine days, as hundreds of pilots from around the world gathered to launch their balloons.
In all, 588 balloons registered for the event. That included 104 special shaped balloons.
Seventeen countries were represented, from Austria and Belgium to India, Colombia and Kenya.
Organizers say views of Balloon Fiesta Live neared 741,000, and nearly all of the scheduled events —with the exception of the kickoff mass ascension and one of the evening balloon glows — went on as planned.