Balloon fiesta kicks off extravaganza with early morning flypast

PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 August 2020

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta held its flypast event on Monday morning.    Picture: Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta held its flypast event on Monday morning. Picture: Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta kicked off its annual celebrations with a flypast event this week.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta held its flypast event on Monday morning.    Picture: Bristol International Balloon FiestaBristol International Balloon Fiesta held its flypast event on Monday morning. Picture: Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Organisers have hosted a socially-distanced alternative to the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta for 2020.

Forty-three balloons took off from a giant heart painted on grass, which formed part of the BristolTogether initiative, and flew over the south of the city on Monday morning.

The inaugural flypast could have seen balloons take to the sky on a chosen date between August 1 and 14.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta held its flypast event on Monday morning.    Picture: Bristol International Balloon FiestaBristol International Balloon Fiesta held its flypast event on Monday morning. Picture: Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

The fiesta’s iconic nightglow will take place virtually, featuring 12 hot air balloons and their crews on Saturday.

The production will also feature special effects as well as a light show, in addition to a soundtrack produced by BBC Radio Bristol.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta chair Chris Allcock said: “It was the perfect morning for some ballooning with blue skies and light winds taking them out over the green hills of Dundry and homes of South Bristol.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta held its flypast event on Monday morning.    Picture: Bristol International Balloon FiestaBristol International Balloon Fiesta held its flypast event on Monday morning. Picture: Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

“We weren’t able to invite people to see us lift off in the current climate, but we’ve had thousands of messages from people seeing them from their gardens this morning.”

The extravaganza is Europe’s largest hot air ballooning event, held annually at Ashton Court.

It could not take place this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta held its flypast event on Monday morning.    Picture: Bristol International Balloon FiestaBristol International Balloon Fiesta held its flypast event on Monday morning. Picture: Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

The fiesta is normally visited by more than 200,000 people across the weekend-long event in August, and an impressive nightglow rounds off the celebrations.

Chris added: “The nightglow has been made possible by the voluntary efforts of the production team and companies behind the fiesta, including Richmond Event Management, Flo Gas, Skyburst and Utopium, as well as ballooning teams volunteering their time to make this happen.”

The virtual nightglow will be available to watch on BBC Bristol and Bristol International Balloon Fiesta social media channels, presented by Emma Britton, on Saturday at 9pm.

More information will be released near to the event on the charity’s social media channels.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the North Somerset Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the North Somerset Times