Mad About Hot Air Balloons

3 minutes

Balloon Festival In Bristol

If you are an avid fan of hot air balloons then there is only one place you need to be at the beginning of August – Britain! It’s quite a trek from Australia, but people come from all over the world to enjoy this spectacle! It is based in Bristol which is a city in the west of England, and this year marks its 35th anniversary. The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is a staple in every balloon fan’s diary every year and it’s easy to see why – people from all over the world arrive to take in the sights as well as the flights!

What Are The Highlights?

Hot Air Balloons And More

Every morning at 6am, lots of hot air balloons go up in the air for ‘Breakfast & Balloons’, as spectators sit and watch while they eat their breakfast and sip coffees. There’s no sight quite like it! Along with the hot air balloon displays (of which there are many!) you will also see flying displays with model aircraft, parachute displays, you’ll watch the RAF Falcons do their thing and you’ll also get to see the famous Red Arrows perform their breathtaking stunts. You’ll come across fairgrounds, flypasts, stalls and markets and plenty of places to find a delicious meal. Then there are more balloon ascents at 6pm when they take off to travel over Bristol itself. The dance stage has demonstrations from local dance troupes as well as others that have travelled from much further afield.

What Happens at Night?

Nightglow Balloon Launch

Most people camp at the festival so that they can live and breathe it around the clock. On the last night of the festival, around 30 illuminated balloons ascend in what is called the ‘Nightglow’ just as darkness falls. This is followed by a jaw-dropping firework display. It’s atmospheric, romantic and it’ll stick in your memory for years to come. There are plenty of bars and cafes to hang out in during the evenings, and you can bet your life that balloons will be the main topic of conversation, so you’re bound to meet loads of like-minded people!

Will I Get to go in a Balloon?

Take A Ride In A Hot Air Balloon

You most certainly will! All of the big hot air balloon operators are at the Fiesta and they all offer different rates and different types of flights. Just have a wander around their stalls and choose who you would like to fly with. It’d be a crime to go home without having experienced at least one flight!

The International Balloon Fiesta is the largest event of its type in the whole of Europe and it is definitely worth a visit if you love your balloons. Every year attracts over 500,000 visitors over the weekend. The whole city gets involved – people stand outside their houses and watch the balloons hovering overhead. Best of all – the fiesta is completely free (but you will have to pay if you want to camp). It’s something that everybody should go to at least once in your life – but you’ll probably find that once you get the bug you’ll want to go back every year!

Joseph Taylor, the author of this post, is an employee of a well known provider of hot air balloon rides in Hunter Valley. He is a fun loving person and his hobbies include photography and blogging.

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