Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

IN THE LAND OF GIANTS.

Dozens of colorful balloons dotted the sky Saturday for the Friends and Lovers Balloon Rally in Rio Rancho.

About 155 balloons were scheduled to attend the rally, which is staged along Northern Boulevard near Fruta Road, about 1 1/2 miles west of N.M. 528.

The rally, which is in its 26th year, is a tradition among area balloonists and provides an alternative to the Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

The rally is an offshoot of the fiesta, which in 1975 changed its event from February to October for better weather. The Albuquerque Aerostat Ascension Association, the local balloon club, adopted the February rally and gave it a Valentine's Day theme. …

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