A pilot prepares a balloon for flight during the Canberra Festival's Balloon Spectacular on March 11 in Canberra, Australia.

Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Balloon prep

A pilot prepares a balloon for flight on March 11 during the Canberra Festival Balloon Spectacular in Canberra, Australia.

 

Australia's capital city is celebrating its 99th birthday in 2012, making this year's Canberra Festival especially exciting. Over the course of 17 days, the city will host music and dance performances, sports competitions, film screenings and other arts events.

 

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Brightly colored balloons take off into the sky during the Balloon Spectacular at the Canberra Festival on March 10 in Canberra, Australia.

Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Up, up and away!

Brightly colored balloons take off on March 10 during the Balloon Spectacular at the Canberra Festival.

 

The festival's annual nine-day balloon event is considered one of the best in the world, and it is the only one that allows balloons to fly in such a close proximity to the city's government buildings.

 

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