Sep 25, 2016 4:46 PM

Swooping, gliding over the Alps at free-flight festival

The Associated Press

SAINT HILAIRE DU TOUVET, France (AP) — In wild costumes, wingsuits and even home-made flying machines, thousands of people are gliding through the French Alps in the world's oldest free-flight festival.

Hang gliders, paragliders, acrobatic sailplanes and hot air balloons from around the world gathered this weekend for the Icarus Cup, celebrating its 43rd edition on the slopes of Saint Hilaire du Touvet.

Motorized paragliders will race in an airborne slalom in one of the festival's events. Kitted out like a dragon, a trumpet, or a car, some participants are aiming for victory at a costume contest.

Emergency services are on hand in case of accidents — and to watch out for suspicious packages as part of France's state of emergency after deadly extremist attacks.

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