Star Wars surprise steals the show at Balloon Fiesta

Yoda was a crowd favorite Saturday as the 43rd Balloon Fiesta kicked off in Albuquerque.

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It’s possibly the best kept secret Balloon Fiesta has ever revealed. Balloon Fiesta officials said 12 new special shape balloons would be making their debut this year but as the 43rd annual fiesta kicked off there was actually 13.

Yoda, made a surprise launch Saturday and was a crowd favorite. Darth Vadar the Star Wars villain has been around for years and his ballooning team decided it was about time for good to meet evil in the skies over Albuquerque. The secret was kept all the way until Yoda began inflating.

Twelve other new special shape balloons will make their first appearance at balloon fiesta this year. Some that lifted off Saturday were the blue whale, a new fluffy owl. the aquarium and the FIJI balloon from Albuquerque. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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