This week, Bristol will play host to Europe’s largest ballooning event The Barton Wilmore Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. Taking place from 8th – 11th August 2013 this amazing spectacle is a FREE experience for the whole family. Over 150 hot air balloons will take off from Ashton Court Estate along with exciting new additions to this year’s fiesta.
The event features four days of hot-air balloon displays, with half a million visitors gathering in the gorgeous grounds of Ashton Court to watch balloons of all shapes and sizes lift off. Families will love the packed programme on the ground featuring fairground rides, delicious food stalls, bars, face painting and new for this year, a bandstand with a full programme of local acoustic bands to keep the crowds entertained in between the air displays.
An exhilarating entertainment programme has also been announced, highlights include:
Thursday 8th August
The fiesta opens on Thursday at 12pm with a balloon tethering display. The unveiling of the special shapes will take place at 6pm, followed by the famous Nightglow, sponsored by McBaile Exclusive Catering. The Nightglow is a stunning sight with 30 ballooning teams lighting up their balloons to music as night falls at 9.15pm to a backdrop of spectacular fireworks.
Friday 9th August
The first mass ascent of the fiesta takes place at 6am and those arriving early for the 6pm ascent will experience a phenomenal display from the world’s premier aerobatic team, the Royal Air Force Red Arrows, taking place at 4pm.
Saturday 10th August
Saturday is the busiest day at the fiesta, along with the 6am and 6pm mass ascents, audiences are in for a treat with the all female Breitling Wingwalkers taking to the skies for dare devil performances at 12 noon and 5pm. If that wasn’t enough, there will be appearances from the EXIT Parachute Display Team, a Spitfire memorial Flight and display by the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team throughout the day and the evening. The packed Saturday programme is finished with the Nightglow sponsored by Airbus.
Sunday 11th August
Parabatix Air Displays will wow the crowds throughout the day, a cross between a parachute and an ultra light aeroplane the Parabatix are capable of incredible twists and turns and will be taking to the skies at 12.30pm, 2.45pm and 5.45pm. The last mass ascent of the fiesta will be taking place at 6pm.
For the first time in the event’s 35 year history, organisers will offer an official Bristol International Balloon Fiesta campsite with partners Camping Ninja, set within walking distance of the main arena. Visitors attending for the whole weekend or overnight can enjoy camping in close proximity to Europe’s biggest annual ballooning event.
The campsite opens on Thursday 8th August at 12 noon and closes on Monday 12th August at 10am. Bookings can made with Camping Ninja by visiting: www.campingninja.com/theofficialbristolballoonfiestacampsite
To find out more about this year’s festival, please visit http://www.bristolballoonfiesta.co.uk or follow @BristolBalloon and https://www.facebook.com/bristolinternationalballoonfiesta.