Ballooning over Bristol

By | Category: Travel destinations

The sight of balloons flying over Bristol in any August is one that attracts the media from all over the world. It also attracts visitors who turn up at the ungodly hour of 6am to watch the mass ascent.

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta officially began yesterday but it was actually this morning when the first ascent was due. BBC Breakfast sent their weather forecaster, Carol Kirkwood, to stand in a balloon at 6.15 this morning to present her piece as they do each year. As with all events little things can go wrong The winds this morning meant that those early risers had to wait for the mass balloon lift off.

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is now in its 35th year and is Europe’s largest ballooning event. It’s free and even if you don’t go there, you can see balloons in the sky virtually regardless of where you are in Bristol. During the fiesta over 150 hot air balloons will take off from Ashton Court Estate at 6am and 6pm and light up the skies Saturday night with the famous nightglows. Later tonight, the world famous Red Arrows with be taking to the sky, creating a colourful display and showing off their hugely impressive flying skills and then, tomorrow, at midday and 5pm the Breitling Wingwalkers take to the skies showing off their dare devil performances including acrobatic sequences and handstands. Four companies will also be providing trips in their hot-air balloons as well.

But it’s the balloons that people come to watch and sponsors use this is an opportunity to publicise themselves. There will be charities and sellers of all sorts of things plus the tourist board of Thailand who will be hoping that some of the estimated 500,000 people who will attend might want visit their country. On top of the half a million, many more will see the balloons on televsion coverage and in newspapers over the next few days.

Image ©Bristol International Balloon Fiesta Ltd.

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