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Fiesta News in the Paper

Members of the Albuquerque Police Department's mounted patrol line up for the national anthem on Sunday morning, the finale for the 42nd annual Balloon Fiesta. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

A fine finish for Balloon Fiesta

On Sunday, the last day of the 42nd annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, a well-attended morning glow and cheer-filled farewell mass ascension sealed the nine-day experience, which featured about 3,000 launches in total.

The French-made "BOB (Breizh on Board)." Visitors will see 10 new special shapes.(Courtesy Of Balloon Fiesta)

Special attractions

Special-shape balloons are more than a special attraction at the Albuquerque International Balloon F …

Hot-air balloon pilot Sam Edwards of Lakeway, Texas, inflates his balloon in preparation for Saturday morning’s mass ascension at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Brisk winds in the morning left it up to the pilots to decide whether to fly. The nine-day fiesta draws to an end today, with a farewell mass ascension slated for 7 a.m. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Development concerns some balloon pilots

Winds during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta this year have predominantly sent hot-air balloons south of the launch field, forcing pilots to search the landscape for slivers of open space or empty parking lots on which to touch down.

A chase crew prepares to grab a hot-air balloon gondola as it lands near the North Diversion Channel and Paseo del Norte on Friday. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Special Shape Rodeo proves to be a popular hit with visitors

A calm, clear morning unleashed the Special Shape Rodeo on Friday, a day after a storm front forced the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to tether the world’s most spectacular balloons.