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Balloons soar over León for annual festival. Balloons soar over León for annual festival.

Thousands turn out for balloon festival despite chilly weather

Christ the Redeemer, Vincent Van Gogh among the figures depicted by the 200 balloons

Chilly temperatures were no deterrent to visitors at this year’s International Hot Air Balloon Festival in León, Guanajuato.

Thermometers dropped to 7 C early Friday morning, but entire families arrived at the site of the festival as early as 5:00am, eager to find the best spot from which to see the colorful balloons rise after dawn.

By 8:00am the sky was dotted by the imaginative and bright shapes of 200 balloons, including a Christ the Redeemer and the face of Vincent Van Gogh.

An estimated 20,000 people — 20% more than last year — were there on Saturday for the biggest hot air balloon festival in Latin America.

Governor Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo said on Saturday that it was thanks to massive events such as the festival that Guanajuato is one of the five most visited states in the country.

Mayor Héctor López Santillana remarked that the festival is a family-friendly event that has now become part of the identity of the people of León.

This year’s festival kicked off on Friday and concludes Monday. As well as the hot air balloons visitors also had the chance to enjoy daily musical concerts.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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