It’s nearly time for our most favourite event of the year, the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta! Running for four days from August 11th to the 14th, it’s truly one of the very best things about living in Bristol!
For the uninitiated, the Fiesta is Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons, with over 150 descending on our city (and then repeatedly ascending) from all around the world. From Thursday onwards, every morning and evening (weather very much permitting) the balloons grace our skies during mass ascents that are beautiful enough to make even the most burly Bristolian well up with pride. IT’S THE ACTUAL BEST. Plus, if that wasn’t already enough, there are some novelty shaped balloons to gawp at too.
There are plenty of excellent vantage points around the city to watch the mass ascents (our personal favourite is just up by the Clifton Suspension Bridge) but we always like to head down to Ashton Court at least once during the Fiesta to soak up the atmosphere and to support this free (FREE!) event. For the past couple of years we’ve even gone as far as setting our alarms for silly o’clock to go down for a morning launch. Although it might not be much fun getting out of bed at 6am, there’s no denying the magical feeling that comes with watching the balloons fill the skies over our sleepy city (whilst clutching a cup of tea and a bacon roll of course!). If you’re Bristolian and you’ve not made it to Ashton Court for a morning ascent before, make this your year! We will see you there!
On Thursday and Saturday evenings, huge crowds descend for the spectacular nightglow and fireworks. The nightglows, which are rather legendary, see a field full of tethered balloons light up in time to music. You haven’t really lived until you’ve watched a load of hot air balloons dance to Olly Murs.
Check out the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta website for a full guide to what’s on this year (there’s entertainment all day) plus information about parking and the night glow. You can also check out our highly professional vlog from last year which should give you an excellent flavour of the Fiesta…
J&V (balloon enthusiasts) x