A reader writes:

As a proud former Burqueño I have to tell you that the caption on the post titled "329" is simply wrong. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has mass ascensions of balloons numbering in the upper hundreds every year, and was as large as 1,000 before organizers limited the number of balloons a few years ago.

Sky News, among other sources, reported the French launch as a world record. But unless there is some nuanced criteria involved, those reports are wrong. According to a NYT article from 2007:

The festival also includes fireworks, concerts, a wine festival and a classic car show, but the launchings of over 700 balloons from a 78-acre grass field at Balloon Fiesta Park is the unquestioned highlight.

Another reader sends a photo gallery from Albuquerque last year: