- Associated Press - Thursday, November 3, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - This year’s Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta marked nearly 840,000 visits and attracted 550 registered balloon teams from more than a dozen countries around the world.

Fiesta officials recapped the 45th annual event Thursday. They say the balloons that lifted off - including more than 100 special-shaped balloons - represented 19 countries and 43 states.

As for the number of visits, this year’s total of 839,309 was down from 2015’s estimated 955,700. Officials say that’s still more than the five-year average of 817,899.

The nine-day fiesta started Oct. 1. Balloons launched successfully most mornings, except for Oct. 3 when winds were too strong. Evening events were canceled just twice due to the weather.

Next year’s fiesta has been scheduled for Oct. 7-15.

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