ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - After nine full days the 42nd Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta wrapped up Sunday morning with one last mass ascension.
Thousands swarmed Balloon Fiesta Park for dawn patrol and to watch hundreds of hot air balloons of all shapes and colors fill Albuquerque's sky.
Fiesta spokesman Tom Garrity said this year was a big change from last year when four events were canceled due to weather concerns.
"This year is night and day," Garrity said. "Being able to get in 13 events is really something else."
Some events through the week were delayed, but only Thursday night was a wash.
There were some hard landings and accidents, including a balloon crash Wednesday. One man was severely burned in the first serious accident during Balloon Fiesta in years.
Garrity said for the most part fair weather and big crowds both showed up through all nine days.
Whether or not people paid up, though, has yet to be tallied. Longtime vendor Chris Gallegos said business was weaker than in past years.
"The crowd was here, but the business wasn't like it was in the past," Gallegos said.
Last year about 740,000 people turned out for Balloon Fiesta.
Final attendance numbers won't be available for a few more weeks, but officials expect an increase over last year.
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