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ABQ News

43rd Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta hosts Balloonists from 22 countries


ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico. – The Balloon Fiesta began in 1972 as the highlight of a 50th birthday celebration for 770 KOB Radio. Radio station manager Dick McKee asked Sid Cutter, owner of then Cutter Flying Service, and the first person to own a hot air balloon in New Mexico, if KOB could use his new hot-air balloon as part of the festivities. The first event was located in the parking lot of the Coronado Center Shopping Mall with 10,000 spectators.

The International Balloon Fiesta has grown in numbers of balloons and spectators to become the largest Balloon event in the world. There are a number of unique events that take place, one of them named in honor of Sid Cutter, The Sid Cutter Memorial Task, along with the spectacular Mass Ascensions, the Night Magic Glow and the Special Shape Rodeo. It is estimated that more than 25 million still photographs are taken of the Balloon Fiesta, earning the title “The World’s most photographed event”. Here are some of our very own photographs taken by Richard Campbell, part of this year’s Cutter Aviation team flying the company’s balloon “Liberty” with Will Cutter for 2014.

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