Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

June 24th, 2016 | Destination: | Rubric: General, Events |

© Bradleylewis/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Bradleylewis/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is held annually England. Teams from the UK and other parts of the world bring their hot air balloons to Bristol and participate in mass ascents where as many as 100 balloons may launch at a time. The event was first held in 1979 and is now one of the largest in Europe. It is common to have crowds of over 100,000 on each of the four days of the festival. It takes place in a large country estate Ashton Court. Mass launches are made twice a day, at 6am and 6pm, subject to weather conditions.

One popular attraction is the night glow, when balloons are inflated and glow to music after dark. These are held on the opening Thursday night at approx 9:30pm, followed by a spectacular fireworks display. There is another night glow at the same time followed by the fireworks on the Saturday night. Some people see these as the highlight of the fiesta.

Nightglow © Bradleylewisoxford/cc-by-sa-3.0 © © Bradleylewis/cc-by-sa-3.0 © © Bradleylewis/cc-by-sa-3.0
Nightglow © Bradleylewisoxford/cc-by-sa-3.0
In the past, the fiesta used to be held in the second week of September, but due to cancellations of flights and the muddy ground because of bad weather, it has been moved in the start of August. This has had a great effect as more flights manage to fly; cancellations are now normally due to high winds.

On the 10th of August 2013 they broke a balloon fiesta record after 74 balloons landed in one field near the former Somerdale Factory in Keynsham. The record was then broken a year later, when 90 balloons again landed in the former Cadbury’s chocolate factory on 9 August.

Read more on Bristol International Balloon Fiesta and Wikipedia Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. Photos by Wikimedia Commons.

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