Timing is everything.

And those who went to the final day of the Balloon Fiesta Sunday got to experience a rare thing.

There was a break in the weather. And balloons took flight.

A chilly morning warmed as the yellow caution flag was replaced by green for go. Balloons were inflated, shivering as they slowly puffed up on the ground — then blasts of flame drove them into the sky — free to the shouts and applause of enthusiastic spectators.

One by one balloons rose until the sky above the park was speckled with brightly colored orbs. There were balloons from the states, Texas and Colorado were there. Even countries had their representatives, like the UK.

Spectators in some cases were at the park as early as 4 a.m., some wrapped in blankets on the ground, some in tents. This time, they got their reward.

This week The Observer celebrates The 50th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta — with galleries and videos each day at rrobserver.com It starts Monday with a gallery by reporter Michaela Helean. Tuesday, there will be more photos and video by Garrison Wells. On and on until our print version on Thursday.