High winds force Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta to cancel mass ascension on Day 2



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Balloons fly over the head of Airabelle the flying cow balloon as it prepares to take off at the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, N.M. Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014. Organizers have equipped all 550 pilots with tablet computers capable of running a mapping application that will enable them to steer clear of the many restricted areas or prohibited zones like airport flight paths, the zoo and other locations. (AP Photo/The Albuquerque Journal, Jim Thompson)


Standing on the North Diversion Channel path, Raul Granillo, third from left, gazes up as the hot air balloons that took part in the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, N.M. Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014. Organizers have equipped all 550 pilots with tablet computers capable of running a mapping application that will enable them to steer clear of the many restricted areas or prohibited zones like airport flight paths, the zoo and other locations. (AP Photo/The Albuquerque Journal, Jim Thompson)


Amber and Nate Hoffman dressed as Princess Leia and Han Solo during the unveiling of the new Yoda balloon at the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, N.M. Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014. Organizers have equipped all 550 pilots with tablet computers capable of running a mapping application that will enable them to steer clear of the many restricted areas or prohibited zones like airport flight paths, the zoo and other locations. (AP Photo/The Albuquerque Journal, Jim Thompson)


ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — The mass ascension of hundreds of hot air balloons has been called off on the second day of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Fiesta spokesman Tom Garrity said Sunday morning that winds between 300 and 400 feet above ground level were faster than officials would have preferred.

Garrity says more than 100 balloons had already been inflated.

Those balloons became part of an impromptu static display and onlookers are free to come and see them and talk to the pilots.

Garrity says flying events for Monday are still scheduled.

Approximately 550 pilots are taking part in this year's Balloon Fiesta, which runs until Oct. 12. The event draws tens of thousands of spectators from around the world. Organizers say the atmosphere is unlike any other with few boundaries for attendees.

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