Tag Archives: bristol

BRISTOL BALLOON FIESTA 2019

WHAT: BRISTOL BALLOON FIESTA 2019
WHY: HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL FEATURING LIVE MUSIC AND FIREWORK WEEKEND
WHERE: ASHTON COURT ESTATE, LONG ASHTON, BRISTOL
WHEN: THURSDAY 8TH AUGUST TO SUNDAY 11TH AUGUST 2019
COST: FREE

The annual Bristol Balloon Fiesta is once again on the horizon which entertained over 100,000 visitors last year. The event takes place in the grounds of the beautiful Ashton Court Estate where 130 plus hot air balloon flyers congregate for the biggest annual meeting of balloonists in Europe.

The itinerary is as follows:

THURSDAY 8TH AUGUST

12PM – FIESTA OPENS

6PM – MASS BALLOON FLIGHT

9PM – NIGHT GLOW AND FIREWORK FINALE

FRIDAY 9TH AUGUST

12PM – FIESTA OPENS

6PM – MASS BALLOON FLIGHT

9PM – NIGHT GLOW AND FIREWORK FINALE

SATURDAY 10TH AUGUST

6AM – MASS BALLOON LAUNCH

8AM – MODEL HOT AIR BALLOON COMPETITION

12PM – 5.30PM – ARENA ENTERTAINMENT

6PM – MASS BALLOON FLIGHT

9PM – NIGHT GLOW AND FIREWORK FINALE

SUNDAY 11TH AUGUST

6AM – MASS BALLOON LAUNCH

12PM – 5.30PM – ARENA ENTERTAINMENT

6PM – MASS BALLOON FLIGHT

Each of the weekend events will close at 10.30pm

The event started over 40 years ago and instantly captured the hearts of the spectators and local residents alike. As free events go, this one is packed to the rafters with things to do. There are special ‘shaped balloon’ events alongside the more common tear drop shaped examples and on the Fiesta Band Stand, there are a huge array of musicians and acts playing everything from rock and pop to jazz, country and folk.

You can enjoy all that the event has to offer by camping overnight or staying at one of the glamping sites. If like me the thought of no electricity and shared showers fills you with dread, there are a smattering of hotels nearby.

Some of the old favourites of the balloons have already confirmed their attendance at the meet, including buster the bulldog, the Maxwell house coffee jar, Simbaloo and busby, the queens guard, to name just a few. Organisers have been asked to try to secure the attendance of the dark ‘lord vader’ but there is no word yet on whether we are going to see this icon in the skies over Bristol this year.

One of the main attractions is the beautiful ‘Night Glow’ where the balloons are tethered and light up in time to the music. This is certainly one of those ‘bucket list’ occasions that you simply must see. The ballooners blast hot air into their creations in patters to match the music from BBC Radio Bristol.

FAIRGROUND RIDES

SHOWS AND MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT

TRADE AND CRAFT STALLS

BALLOON RIDES

NIGHT GLOW

FOOD AND DRINK CONCESSIONS

FIREWORKS

Be warned, although some of the food is good, it is VERY expensive (according to the hundreds of google reviews) so take along a picnic and blanket to save time (queuing) and cost!

The fireworks will be handled by the professional team from Skyburst The Firework Company who even have their own balloon. Skyburst Fireworks has competed all over the UK but as one of the busiest teams in the industry, they certainly know how to capture the hearts of the crowds.

So, there you have it; a great day out for all the family which if you plan in advance (don’t forget the hand sanitizer and loo roll for the portaloo) needn’t cost an arm and a leg and for families looking for something to entertain the little darlings whilst the school holidays are taking place, this is a great alternative.

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BRISTOL INTERNATIONAL BALLOON FIESTA FEATURING FIREWORKS

WHAT: BRISTOL INTERNATIONAL BALLOON FIESTA FEATURING FIREWORKS
WHY: INTERNATIONAL BALLOON FIESTA
WHERE: ASHTON COURT ESTATE, BRISTOL
WHEN: THURSDAY 9TH TO SUNDAY 12TH AUGUST 2018
COST: FREE!!

Fancy four days of fun, frolics and fireworks amongst some of the most incredible hot air balloons in the World? Then get along this year to the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta held annually in the beautiful grounds of the Ashton Court Estate in Bristol. The event is FREE to attend and the only thing you will have to pay for is the parking on site which can be quite pricey but there is a park and ride facilities around about.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 07-08-2003

There will be up to 150 hot air balloons of all manner of different shapes and sizes along with the usual inverted teardrop. Some of them over the years have been Minions, Bertie Bassett, Smurfs, Donald Duck and even Darth Vader and Yoda to name just a few.

The mass assent which sees up to 100 hot air balloons from across the world take to the skies at an eye-rubbing 6am on a Friday morning and again at 6pm each day.

The venue is an 11th century estate boasting 850 acres of woodland and grassland. There are lots of places of interest locally including the Cheddar Gorge, the City of Bath which is one of the oldest inhabited areas in the UK. The Romans built the ‘Baths’ in the 1st century AD. There is also Bristol Zoo and the beautiful 12th century Bristol Cathedral which started out as St Augustine’s Abbey back in 1140 and is still as impressive today as it would have been back then.

'Best of British' - BIBF 2012

You can camp nearby as there are a couple of sites with pre-pitched tents and caravans for the event (like a poor man’s glamping) and others for visitors with their own tents/caravans or motorhomes.

Pack your snacks, camera and a blanket and get yourself settled in for one of the world’s biggest hot air ballooning events. There are food and drink concessions on site but they are pricey so if you are going, just remember that you are able to take along disposable BBQ’s and your own picnic to avoid the hiked prices. There are fairground rides, food and beverages stalls, trade stands, model aeroplanes and numerous other trade stands to keep you entertained.

The most popular event of the weekend is the Nightglow with fireworks of course. The fireworks are under the care and expertise of Skyburst Fireworks who are one of the UK’s premier professional pyrotechnic teams and they will be set off to music provided by local radio station Heart FM. During the Nightglow, the balloons are inflated whilst tethered, and the pilots ignite their burners so that their balloons glow in time to the music before the fireworks fill the skies.

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Clifton Suspension Bridge Fireworks

On the 8th of December 2014, the magnificent Clifton Suspension bridge will be 150 years old. To mark the occasion, what better way than a massive fireworks display exactly 150 years after magnesium flares were lit to announce to the world that it was open for business – just before being blown out by the high winds!!

Spanning 702 feet and 3 inches of the Avon Gorge and the River Avon, the bridge’s total length is 1352 feet and forms part of the B3129 road.

The bridge was built with the initial design from Isambard Kingdom Brunel who sadly died before the construction was finished and it was amended by engineers William Henry Barlow and John Hawkshaw,

In the past it earned the name “suicide bridge” thanks to the number of people who threw themselves off the bridge before barriers were erected to prevent people from doing so. It became such an issue that the local government erected a plaque with the Samaritans phone number.

In April 1979 one of the first bungee jumps was performed from the 1500 ton structure by the University of Oxfords dangerous sports club but one of the luckiest people to have crossed the bridge was one Sarah Ann Henley, who in 1885 fell off the bridge but due to the heavily layered dress and petticoats she was wearing, she floated down the 245 foot drop with her dress acting as a parachute saving her from certain death. Miss Henley went on to have a full and rich life into her 80’s seemingly no worse for the mishap.

Not so lucky was flying officer John Greenwood who in 1957 attempted to fly an R.A.F Vampire jet under the bridge while performing a barrel roll before crashing into nearby Leigh woods killing himself and causing a landslide over the Bristol to Portishead Railway line. Since this time, only one other recorded aircraft has successfully flown under the bridge, which was a police search helicopter.

Although there is a fee for vehicles crossing the bridge, there is still an act in place to charge 5p for pedestrians and cyclists, but this has never been levied.

The massive fireworks planned won’t be the first display the bridge has seen. Back in 2006, the Clifton Suspension Bridge it saw its biggest display to date when it was the centre piece for the Brunel 200 weekend marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, whose designs inspired William Henry Barlow and John Hawkshaw.

The bridge is very close to the hearts of those living in the region and the celebrations will bring this community together to reflect on what an absolutely massive achievement it was to get the bridge across the huge expanse that is the gorge and the waterways close to Bristol.

In addition to the fireworks on the 7th December 2014 there will be a procession and a small re-enactment of the celebrations which took place 150 years ago, the North Somerset Community Brass Band and the parade will end at the newly completed Suspension Bridge Visitors Centre which was created thanks to National Lottery Funding.

Lets hope some of the visitors are around for the 200th anniversary of this majestic, Grade I listed structure.

Watch this space for more pyro news.

UPDATE – CHECK OUT THE LINKS BELOW 🙂

Clifton Suspension Bridge fireworks: Thousands mark 150 years

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