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Things You Need to Know About The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Sep 26, 2018

When does the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta Take Place?

The Balloon Fiesta generally takes place over the second weekend of August, from the Thursday through to the Sunday.

Where does the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta Take Place?

It takes place at Ashton Court Estate in Bristol, which is a large country estate on the outskirts of the city

What does it cost to get into the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta?

There is no entrance fee to attend the Balloon Fiesta, it is completely free of charge, though there is a charge for parking on site, which has to be booked well in advance. Last year the fee for parking started at £10 per car, but the price goes up as the event gets nearer and tickets sell out fast, so do book early.

What happens at a Mass Ascent at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

On the Friday and Saturday, dependent on the weather conditions, two mass ascents are held, one at 6.00am and one at 6.00pm each day. There is a further mass ascent on Sunday morning at 6.00am also.  People start arriving early and setting out their places around the edges of the field, setting themselves up with rugs and chairs, picnics and barbecues. The balloons start coming into the field below and soon you can hear the sound of the first tranche of them being inflated. As they start to rise up into the air, you can hear the shouts and applause from the crowds. This is an amazing sight, and one not to be missed. A large number of balloons become airborne, right in front of you. There is nothing quite like seeing almost one hundred balloons in the skies above you at one time.

What is a Nightglow at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

On the Thursday and Saturday evenings, from 9.00pm, the nightglow starts. This is where a number of balloons are inflated and tethered to the ground, with the balloons making the shape of the edge of the square. Then, the music starts and the balloons start lighting up in time to the specially commissioned music and narrative. Stunned silence generally greets the start of the nightglow, but this is soon replaced as people start singing and dancing along to the music while watching the balloons. The atmosphere is electric. As the final light goes off on the balloons, start looking to the skies for the start of the firework display.

What else is there to do at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

There are fairground rides, loads of stalls selling all sorts of items that could be useful – clothing, blankets and chairs, children’s toys, as well as many food and drink stalls. There are also stages for music and during the day there are things to watch in the main arena – in previous years they have had a display by the emergency services, a helicopter landing, plane displays in the skies above and model balloons. Definitely no need to be bored over the weekend.

Spice South West & South Wales organise trips every year to see the Balloon Fiesta – our event for 2019 is to be found here


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