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In a tradition begun in 1972, the The Annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta takes place in Albuquerque, NM, and involves the release of nearly a thousand balloons over nine days. It's the largest hot air balloon festival in the world, and in addition to your standard colorful hot air balloons, there are also 'special shape' balloons, which has included balloon versions of Elvis, Snow White, Darth Vader, and other larger than life figures. Below, some photos of the fiesta over the last few years, and a timelapse that will make you want to book a ticket to next year's festival.

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