Hundreds of giant hot air balloons launched into the skies of Albuquerque, New Mexico on Saturday (October 02) for the first time in two years, as the city’s balloon ‘fiesta’ returned following a Covid hiatus.
Yoda, Smokey the Bear and the Creamland Cow were some of the notable balloons that took flight in the Mass Ascension that kicked off the 49th annual festival.
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta brings millions of tourist dollars into the city but last year’s event was canceled as a precaution due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The event’s web site says that 588 hot air balloons will take part and that nearly 900,000 visitors are expected.
This year’s 9 day balloon extravaganza features balloon races, nighttime balloon launches and a variety of events, including musical performances and a chainsaw carving exhibition.
While the Balloon fiesta is not requiring proof of vaccination against Covid-19, participants are required to wear masks indoors or at crowded outdoor settings.
(Production: Ashraf Fahim)