Big balloon day out


Bristol's legendary International Balloon Fiesta is back at last for a whole weekend of sky-bound spectacles...

The International Balloon Fiesta, one of the highlights of Bristol’s bustling festival calendar and the biggest balloon meeting in Europe, is almost upon us once more! Over 150 of the majestic balloons will soar across the Bristol skyline this month, with mass ascents to watch — it’s quite the majestic sight — at the free, family-friendly weekender.

Each day brings multiple displays, with ascents taking place early in the morning and the afternoon, and then as the sun sets events, dubbed Night Glows, which are some of the most popular and see Bristol’s night sky impressively illuminated.

As well as the ubiquitous balloon displays, the festival has a lot to offer if you’d prefer to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground! There are fairground rides and lots of family entertainment at the Victorian Band Stand, BSR Acoustic Stage and Happy Circus tent — the latter is especially exciting, with lots of performers on hand to thrill all ages with stunts big and small, including the unique Hi-Bicycle, plus clowns and the Comedy Rolla Roller.

You can bring a picnic to enjoy on the grass, or grab a bite to eat from the many food vendors and street-food trucks — some people enjoy bringing a disposable barbecue to the morning lifts to cook fresh bacon sarnies on! Make sure you’re at the site for 6am if you do want to attend the morning lifts.

The festival is free to enter but you need to pay to park.
You can book permits online now to save the hassle (spaces are very limited on the day), or book the shuttle bus and avoid the car park altogether! 

Keep up to date with the festival on social media and make sure to arrive in plenty of time for the early morning launches and incredibly popular Night Glow displays!

When: 10–13 August

Where: Ashton Court Estate 


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