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Crowds jam Albuquerque roads trying to get to international balloon fiesta

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ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — Police say several roads were clogged on Albuquerque's north side early Saturday as tens of thousands of people made their way to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

The nine-day fiesta was wrapping this weekend with mass ascensions planned for both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday morning's event saw dozens of balloons lift off from Balloon Fiesta Park under mostly clear and calm skies.

PHOTO: Hot air balloons lift off during the mass ascension at the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, N.M., on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. The nine-day event, which wraps up Sunday, Oct. 12, attracts hundreds of pilots from around the world and tens of thousands of spectators. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)
Hot air balloons lift off during the mass ascension at the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, N.M., on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. The nine-day event, which wraps up Sunday, Oct. 12, attracts hundreds of pilots from around the world and tens of thousands of spectators. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)

Albuquerque police spokesman Daren DeAguero says the attendance was so great Saturday that all of the parking lots at the park filled up. Many vehicles had to be turned away.

DeAguero says the fiesta rush brought traffic in the area to a standstill for part of the morning.

Balloon fiesta spokesman Tom Garrity says it will take some time to calculate total attendance numbers for the entire event.

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