Dozens of balloons are set to take to the skies this morning (Wednesday, August 4) as the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta returns to the city.
The festival is massive for the city and normally takes place over four days in August at Ashton Court, usually generating £15million for the city and region.
Last year’s spectacle was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, although there was an early morning ‘Fiesta Flypast’ to enjoy, as well as a live-streamed Virtual Nightglow.
Read more: The best pictures from Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2020
And as uncertainty over the pandemic and restrictions continues the event organisers were unable to host a large-scale event at Ashton Court again this year.
However, fans will be delighted to hear that it hasn’t stopped them planning something equally spectacular that will see balloons take to the skies over the city for two weeks.
‘Fiesta Fortnight’, which runs from today (Wednesday) until August 15, will see hundreds of hot air balloons taking off from multiple locations across the city.
The first balloons were due to take off just after 6am this morning from Elm Park in Filton.
Over 700 nominations were submitted by locals to help pick the locations of where the balloons would take off from – these included local parks, public spaces, car parks and streets.
And over the next couple of weeks the Fiesta Fortnight partner, Costa Coffee, will be visiting several of the take off locations to treat residents to a special little balloon-shaped surprise outside their window – so keep an eye out.
Chris Allcock, Chair of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, said: “This special edition of the fiesta is going to be something spectacular for the city and we are so thankful to Costa Coffee for partnering with us to help this happen.
“There were some clear winners and favourite locations for balloons to fly from, highlighted from the hundreds of suggestions from fiesta fans.
“This first flight at Elm Park was the first time the fiesta has ever flown from this part of the city.”
We will bring you live updates as the balloons fly over Bristol.
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