One of Bristol’s most famous festivals is happening this weekend, and alongside praying for lovely weather we’ve been rounding up five things you won’t want to miss…

Mass Ascents & Night Glow

The only thing better than a morning mass ascent is an evening mass ascent and the only thing better than an evening mass ascent is the spectacular Night Glow… how lucky that we get all of these in the space of four days at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. The balloons are the absolute stars of the Fiesta and this year there’s going to be 130 of the big beauties to behold.

Special Shapes

From lions and penguins to Disney themes and more, nothing excites quite like a giant, special shaped balloon flying overhead. This year, festival-goers will be treated to the sight of Simbaloo the Lion, Stuart the Minion, The Ricoh Cube, The Maxwell Coffee Jar and Stowell’s Winebox. Thousands of fingers will no doubt be also crossed in the hope of an appearance from the iconic Cameron’s Airship.

Big Top Circus

A new addition to the Balloon Fiesta, this year will see the circus come to town. Under this colourful big top you’ll find the amazing Happy’s Circus, a troupe of skilled performers who will undertake jaw-dropping and gravity defying feats inside a 600 capacity big top.

Inflation Race

The inflation race is always excellent fun to watch – after all, who doesn’t love to see balloons going up as fast as possible? It is always a special little treat when the inflation race gets going and the crowd are cheering on their favourite balloons… there are no prizes for first place, only some serious bragging rights in the balloonist’s enclosure!

Bristol International Balloon FiestaImage © Paul Box

Behind The Basket

On Friday afternoon, members of the public will be invited into the arena to get up-close and personal with the hot air balloons, getting a glimpse of how these marvellous machines operate. This is an experience not to be missed, so if you get the opportunity… grab it by the burners.

To find out more about Bristol International Balloon Fiesta visit the website:

Featured image © Paul Box