Bristol International Balloon Fiesta - 40 Years!
The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta kicks off on Thursday 9th August for the iconic 4-day long event. Now celebrating it's 40th birthday, the annual event has become the largest in Europe and attracts a worldwide audience.
This year's event is set to be jam packed with things to keep you busy, so to help you navigate the weekend, we’ve put together some handy do's and don’ts to save you time and to ensure that you don’t miss any of the best bits.
Take a picnic:
What could be better than finding that perfect sunny spot, setting out the gingham blanket, laying out a basket full of goodies and sitting back and watching the sky fill with the balloons? Taking a picnic will also mean you miss the food queues and there will be no arguing over what the kids want to eat.
Beat the crowds:
The site will be busy. A bustling, fun atmosphere is what makes the event what it is, however it can all be a little overwhelming. If the crowds are too much for you then fear not, there are plenty of other great spots around the city where you can watch the show. Our pick would be Brandon Hill!
Have a plan B
We know it’s definitely not what you want to hear, but we can’t always rely on the British weather. If the weather conditions are not completely perfect, unfortunately, it’s just not safe for the balloons to take off and while there will be lots of other on site entertainment, even this isn’t safe from the rain. Prepare for that eventuality and hopefully you won’t be disappointed with your weekend in Bristol. Try M Shed and Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, both of which are free.
Thursday marks the opening and the most iconic part of the fiesta. The nightglow and firework finale will take place at 9pm and trust us, you will not want to be late. The balloons, tethered together, will become light bulbs on the horizon and glow in time with a specially commissioned soundtrack before a firework display marks the start of the weekend’s event. This will not only make for a great Instagram snap but is the part everyone will be talking about. If you really can’t make Thursday, don’t worry as they repeat this at the same time on Saturday evening too.
The site is big and no doubt you will want to explore and enjoy the entertainment. We suggest taking just the essentials. Although there is parking on site, with over half a million visitors expected, there may be quite a walk to the car and you will not want to be back and forth. Pack light and pack smart.
Snooze your alarm:
We know everyone enjoys those weekend lie-ins, but this weekend we suggest you set your alarms and pack up some coffee in a flask to go. The morning ascent starts a 6am and it will feel magical with the sun just coming up. A mass hot air balloon lift is definitely something you won’t see every day, so take the opportunity and if you really need to, have a nap in the afternoon!
Posted on 12th July 2018 by Nathalie Crease