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A look ahead to the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 2014

21/05/2014 Jo Bailey Features

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta has been taking place since 1979. This year’s festival will be its 36th, and it is certainly set to be one of the best yet. The event – which is held from 7th-10th August – will play host to more than 130 hot air balloons, launching from the Ashton Court Estate between the hours of 6am and 6pm.

Balloons galore

Enthusiasts will delight in the daily balloon take-offs, which include early morning flights – reportedly accompanied with copious amounts of coffee and bacon rolls – and absolutely stunning night glows, which are truly a sight to behold. Morning flights take place at 6am and night glows can be observed at 9pm on the 7th and 9th.

Fireworks

This year, the night glows will be accompanied by a great musical soundtrack and topped off with a fantastic fireworks display that will set the Bristol sky alight.

Parades and events

Model balloon parades will take place over the course of the Fiesta, along with tethering and inflation races.

Mass ascents

One of the hot air balloon highlights of the Fiesta has to be the mass ascents. The festival is currently the only place people will ever see a mass balloon ascent outside of Albuquerque over in the US, so it really is a must see event. There are few things more spectacular than watching a bunch of expert balloonists launch their vessels into the sky all at once. Mass Ascents take place at 6pm.

On-ground entertainment

Of course, the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 2014 is about much more than just hot air balloons, although there are plenty of them and they’re undoubtedly the main attraction; it is also about family fun. There are plenty of more down to earth activities that will keep people of all ages entertained.

The very popular band stand will be back again this year. It will showcase some of the best musical acts in the region, and is sure to get everyone dancing. Everything from rock to blues will be covered, so no matter what gets your toe tapping, you won’t be disappointed.

There will also be a number of fairground rides to keep the young ones, and those who are young at heart, happy. Not only that, but there will be pick ‘n’ mix tents, a number of food vendors, cupcake stands, and of course, plenty of provisions for ice creams.

Parachutes

Members of the EXIT parachute team will be on site to show off their stunning freefall skills.

Model aircraft

Some of the most exciting non-balloon exhibits will be the model aircraft displays, which will take place throughout the course of the fiesta.

As you can see, this year’s Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is set to be one of the biggest and best. The organisers have been working hard to ensure a full programme of events to suit all ages and tastes. There has never been a better time to visit this wonderful event – whether you’re a first timer or a seasoned Fiesta veteran.

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