There is something magical and captivating about watching a lone, graceful hot air balloon flying on a still morning. Witnessing many balloons flying at once can increase these feelings of wonder. This is one of the joys of balloon festivals, where the balloon community and members of the public gather to admire the many multi-coloured balloons.
Balloon festivals are held all over the world. One of the most famous ones in Britain is the annual summer Bristol Balloon Fiesta which many regard as the best day out of the year. The festival held last August was a great success.
Albuquerque in the United States claims to hold the world’s largest balloon festival. Each year, over five hundred balloons take part. Over one hundred thousand spectators watch the mass take-off of hundreds of balloons.
Balloon glows are held at night and do not involve flying. The balloons are tethered to the ground with their fires lit so that spectators can enjoy the site of hundreds of eerily lit balloons.
At the Bristol Fiesta, the night balloon glow is accompanied by firework displays.
Many festivals hold balloon races. Because balloons do not fly very fast, the name ‘race’ is a bit misleading; they usually consist of pilots attempting to drop weighted markers at designated spots, with the marker closest to the target winning the “race”.
The highlight of most Balloon Festivals is the mass take off of balloons. Often held early in the morning, this is a spectacular sight featuring hundreds of balloons taking off at the same time.
Balloon festivals often offer the chance to ride in a balloon, but usually places are limited. It would be impossible for the hundred thousand spectators that go to the Albuquerque festival to all be given a balloon ride, even using the five hundred balloons that attend.
Most balloon festivals also feature other attractions apart from the balloons. Music, good food, beer and wine keep the party atmosphere going and amusement rides cater for the younger visitors.
There are many other events held at balloon festivals, from fitness classes, to magicians, clowns and circus acts. If you are looking for an exciting event to attend then why not go to a balloon festival? You will be sure to have a good time.