Last weekend I went along to the annual Bristol International Balloon Fiesta – it’s an extended weekend full of ballooning and fun and yesterday was exceptional. The fiesta, which is now in 37th year reached Ashton Court’s capacity and for the first time they had to turn people away at the gates. It has to be said it’s not hard to see why – the best weather and conditions, the best balloons and the best fun.
This is the Bristol Internal Ballon Fiesta 2015!
Not my kind of thing but the fiesta plays host to a wide range of rides suitable for all tastes and thrill seekers. From merry go rounds, tea cups and dodgems to the likes of Air and Joker for those adventurous types who want to experience a splash of danger.
If food is more your thing there’s more than enough to keep hunger at bay from the traditional burger, pizza and chips to full roasts, currys, ice creams, sweets, fudge, drinks…
Oh and this apple and cinnamon crepe was lovely… 🙂
Just be prepared as with all these kinds of things it’s not exactly cheap!
Okay, okay – not really what the fiesta is but. But. But.
They were everywhere, on virtually every game stand there this year, one of the prizes on offer was a minion so couldn’t really miss them out could I?
You’ll see more about this later, but Shaun in City was of course present at the Ashton Court estate, here’s a sneak peak of one of them!
This year we had lots of activities in the sky including this incredible plane demonstration…
The Hot Air Balloon Mass Ascent
Okay – so the fiesta isn’t really about any of those things – it’s a celebration of hot air balloons, the opportunity to witness and be part of a mass ascent of hot air balloons at one of the biggest balloon fiesta’s in Europe. Going up in one of those things must be pretty awesome ordinarily but going up as part of a mass ascent at the fiesta has to be pretty spectacular.
The fiesta was trying out a new way of letting everyone know whether the balloons would take to the skies this year. A chimney would erupt smoke and the colour of this smoke would be the outcome. Red would mean no go, amber meant the balloons would inflate but would not be allowed to take off. And Green would mean we’re good to go.
Given the wind but warm weather I was half expecting it to go amber but….
The smoke, it went green! As it did at all 7 launches this year – good weather at all launches for the fiesta is unheard of!
Anyhoo, We were good to go and this is what happened next!
Getting the balloon’s ready
We have lift off…
Off goes another
And we’re off
Some of these balloons can carry up to 14 passengers
One of the two penguin balloons exhibiting at this years fiesta…
And here’s the other one – oh what a pair! 🙂
And as the light started to fade to a soft glow the ascent came to an end…
The Night Glow…
But the day hasn’t come to an end just yet – on the Thursday and Saturday nights – the balloon fiesta has a unique feature. A feature that is one of the fiesta’s biggest draws and it’s called the Night Glow.
The Night Glow is in a word beautiful, a combination of music and balloons – after inflating the balloon teams use their burners to light up their balloons in time to the music – it’s something that’s really hard to show you with pictures…
So how about a clip instead (no copyright infringement intended!) 🙂
And the night still hasn’t quite ended, next up is the fireworks…
I hope I’ve given you a taste of what the Bristol Balloon Fiesta is like, maybe you might like to come next year. It’s not the kind of thing I could go to every year as it is one of those things that doesn’t really change much from year to year, but on a day with goo weather it provides an exceptional day out for a very modest amount – did I not mention if you walk to the fiesta it’s completely free of charge. They do however charge for parking – so walk if you can!