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Over 820,000 people attended the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Despite some days of bad weather, this year’s cavalcade of hundreds of hot air balloons in New Mexico’s high desert drew nearly 830,000 people. Organizers of the nine-day Albuquerque

International Balloon Fiesta, which celebrated its 50th year, released attendance figures Friday. An estimated 828,800 guests came to see 648 hot air balloons along with nearly 120 special character ones.

The festival, which ran from Oct. 1-9, saw eight liftoff sessions for balloons canceled because of gusty winds and other weather conditions.

Still, the fiesta remains one of the most photographed events in the world. It’s also an economic driver for the state’s largest city.