Bristol International Balloon Fiesta launches Fiesta Fortnight event
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Organisers of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta have replaced its annual spectacular with a Fiesta Fortnight event, starting this week.
A partnership between the balloon fiesta and Costa Coffee, which has come on board to support the event and paid for hot air balloon pilot's fuel this year, has enabled a Fiesta Fortnight to take place this summer in the city.
Fiesta Fortnight, which will see flypasts and ballooning spectaculars in Bristol this month, replaces the renowned Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, usually held at Ashton Court.
Organisers say that due to the continued uncertainty regarding organising large-scale events in the government's roadmap out of Covid-19 lockdown, it was decided in June that it would not be possible to stage the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta at Ashton Court Estate this year.
Events are planned until August 15, and the Fiesta Fortnight will see hundreds of hot air balloons taking off from multiple locations across the city and filling the sky with classic hot air balloons as well as unique shapes and characters, including Stuart the minion.
More than 700 nominations were submitted by locals to help pick the locations of where the balloons will take off from. These included local parks, public spaces, car parks and streets.
Chris Allcock, chair of Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, said: “We were sad that we weren’t able to host the much-loved annual balloon festival in Ashton Court this year due to COVID-19. However, this special edition of the fiesta is going to be something spectacular for the city and we are so thankful to Costa Coffee for partnering with us to help this happen.
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"There were some clear winners and favourite locations for balloons to fly from, highlighted from the hundreds of suggestions from fiesta fans. So, we’re hoping to make sure the greatest number of people will be able to enjoy the balloons, including some communities that rarely get balloons overhead.”
Nick Orrin, director of Costa Express UK&I, said: “We are proud to partner with the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta on such a fantastic event. After what has been an unprecedented time for many, we wanted to give something exciting to the Bristol community to enjoy.
To find out the final list of locations, visit the Fiesta Fortnight’s social media channels. There, people will find regular updates on all locations and timing to help plan their time to head outside to view the balloons flying over the city.
Costa Coffee will also be visiting several of the take-off locations to treat residents nearby with a balloon-shaped surprise outside their window.