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Annual hot air balloon festival, in Hamilton, New Zealand

Annual hot air balloon festival

Balloons over Waikato is an annual hot air balloon festival that has been running for the last 15 years, held in Hamilton, New Zealand. It is held over five days during autumn and attracts both local and overseas balloonists. The Festival is held primarily at Innes Common, at Hamilton Lake, which gets an estimated 130,000 visitors during the festival. The highlight of the festival, the "Night glow" is held at the University of Waikato where an estimated 80,000+ people attend to watch the lighting of balloons putting on a spectacular glow to music.

Events in the festival include sunrise and sunset launches, a balloon basket glow in the city's Garden Place, the "Night Glow", a morning "Key Grab" competition where balloonists must attempt to secure a key placed on a pole in Innes Common and a Dawn Patrol where a select number of balloons inflate and lift off at dawn creating a magical glow in the sky.