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Annual balloon festival draws large crowd

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Albany/HV: Annual balloon festival draws large crowd
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The skyline over the Hudson gets a big splash of color this weekend. YNN's Venise Toussaint has the story.

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- The annual Balloon Festival in Poughkeepsie has kicked off and excited spectators are lining up across the walkway snapping pictures as 17 hot air balloons add a splash of color above the Hudson.

“The last three or four years I’ve come and watched the balloons inflate and it’s just an amazing thing to do early in the morning,” said Susan Willhite, spectator.

The festival is hosted by the Dutchess County Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by local businesses, which each paid a little over $1,700 per balloon.

“We bring the business community and the community at large together, and I think this is the record number of people coming to watch them,” said Charles North, Dutchess County Chamber of Commerce President.

Another record at the festival, a special couple ties the knot aboard a Remax balloon, a first in festival history.

"I hope that their life is always uplifting," North said.

Many families said the event is an annual tradition that they look forward to each year.

“We like to bring our family down here and especially when we get blessed with a nice day like we have, it’s really something to enjoy,” Joseph St. Leger, spectator. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP