Balloon Fiesta countdown: Final preparations underway, new attractions announced

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — 648 pilots, 84 special shape balloons and thousands of visitors are ready for the 49th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Paul Smith, executive director of the Balloon Fiesta, said organizers prioritized safety as they made tough decisions about operations and procedures over the past two years.

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