Leon International Balloon Festival hailed a success

The Leon International Balloon Festival saw hot air balloons in a variety of sizes and shapes take to the skies of Mexico on Friday.

The hugely popular event has attracted millions of people – including both pilots and visitors – from all over the world during the last 10 years.

Leon is primarily known for the production of shoes and leather goods, but the ballooning get-together has helped to boost tourism in the area, according to its organiser. Director Escandra Salim said:

“It’s a marvellous event. An incredible spectacle. It brings together 200 balloons from 15 countries. We have seen a princess carriage fly today, and other different special figures.”

Logan Belford, a pilot from Tennessee in the US, added:

“Oh it’s wonderful, that’s what makes us come back again, is seeing all the people who love the balloons and being able to put on a show for all the people. We love the Mexican people to come out.”

The hot air balloon shapes have ranged from traditional teardrops and princess carriages to clocks, bees, butterflies and children’s favourite SpongeBob SquarePants. More than 200 balloons and 300,000 attended this year’s event, which is the biggest of its kind in Latin America and has achieved International status.

Marcela, a visitor from Celaya in Mexico, said:

“I came here with some friends because we have always heard the balloon fair is a very nice experience. It’s wonderful seeing them take off.”

Held in the Metropolitan Park of Leon, the festival ran for four days and finished on Monday.

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