Winds fizzle Balloon Fiesta farewell flight

Winds fizzle Balloon Fiesta farewell flight

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It was a windy farewell at Balloon Fiesta park Sunday morning and hopes for a final mass ascension deflated. Even so, lots of people made it out for the last day and found entertainment.

From the first sight of sun at Balloon Fiesta Park on Sunday morning, all eyes were on the sky for a final farewell. Thousands packed the park.

“I really want to look at the balloons take off,” said 6-year-old Lauren Cessna. Lauren is a veteran at Balloon Fiesta, and had lots of favorites to look forward to.

“First, the heart one, the cat,” said Lauren. “I also like the cow, too.”

But, Airabelle stayed grounded Sunday. “You just never know from one minute to the next here what the weather’s going to be like,” said Donna Gillingham, a New Mexico native.

This year’s theme is “Spirit of the Winds,” and wind Sunday fizzled the chances of a mass ascension finale.

“Maybe it’s a jinx to have it named Spirit of the Winds,” Gillingham said laughing.

The flag switched from yellow to green, which gave pilots the go-ahead to inflate on the ground. Spiderpig took a shot at standing up, but he couldn’t quite make it all the way.

And for the few balloons that did stand up, crews had to hold on tight to keep them from swaying.

Vendors offered food and fun activities and kept the crowd entertained as they lingered.

Even though the break from balloons in the Albuquerque skies came sooner than expected, Lauren’s family and friends can’t wait until next year.

Balloon Fiesta officials said only four scheduled events for the entire week were canceled for safety reasons. Of the 550 balloons that participated, there were no accidents.

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