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Albuquerque balloon fiesta underway with Saturday launch

October 6, 2018
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FILE--In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, hot air balloons participating in the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta float over Albuquerque, N.M. The 47th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is set to start Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, and will feature nearly 600 hot air balloons.(AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, file)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The 47th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is underway with the launch Saturday of hundreds of brightly-colored hot-air balloons.

The annual event at Balloon Fiesta Park draws about 1 million visitors to central New Mexico.

This year’s balloon festival theme is “Carry Me Away” and has mass ascensions scheduled this weekend, Wednesday and the weekend of Oct. 13-14.

The America’s Challenge, a race where pilots try to fly the greatest distance from Albuquerque, will not be held in 2018 but is scheduled to return to Albuquerque in 2019.

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