ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (CNN/KRQE) - The dawn sky over Albuquerque, New Mexico, was filled with hot air balloons, and it was a bright sight in the early morning hours.
The mass ascension Sunday at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta had been postponed a day because of high winds on Saturday.
And just like that, the first balloons took off at dawn, 24 hours later than expected.
Balloon after balloon followed suit, rising slowly with the sun.
And whether you were on the ground or in the air, spectators had a front row seat to the nearly 500 balloons that launched during this year's first mass ascension.
The quiet weather kept the balloon from straying too far too fast, leaving them floating in close proximity to one another: a photographer's paradise.
The sea of shapes and colors also wowed Fiesta's littlest onlookers.
Both first-time and Fiesta faithful said taking in all of this is a magical experience and something that definitely brings out the kid in them.
"You don't know where to go; you don't know what to see," said one onlooker. "You're looking around at 10 different directions at the same time. I'll be back for sure."
"It brings back a lot of memories, especially when you're a child flying kites," said another festival faithful. "It's just awesome."
Festival-goers said every year is different.
"It's just mind-boggling," said another onlooker. "It is amazing how much it has grown and how everybody just comes to Albuquerque. It's just, I can't describe it."
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