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Photos: Durango’s Snowdown Hot Air Balloon Parade

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Take to the skies at the best little winter festival this side of the Atlantic

Story and photographs by Aaron Heirtzler

If you’re not familiar with Durango’s Snowdown Festival, you should be. Now 39 years running, the festival leans on creative themes like Steampunk Snowdown, Surf’s up Snowdown, Intergalactic Snowdown and Once Upon a Snowdown to get the costumed masses out in force every year. A packed five-day schedule of events — including the mostly-family-friendly night parade and the not-so-kid-friendly Snowdown Follies — provide a much-needed midwinter pick-me-up.

One of the oft-overlooked events of the week is the weekend morning balloon rally where hot air balloons take flight over the Hermosa Valley. Here are some of our favorite photos from this year’s event.

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