Over 130 hot air balloons have now entered the 2017 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, which will take from 10 – 13 August in partnership with Bristol Energy

With balloon teams from all over the world descending on Ashton Court Estate, Bristol, visitors can expect to see new balloons of all shapes and sizes as well as Bristol Balloon Fiesta favourites including the Minions, the world’s first solar balloon and the lion as they take to the skies above Bristol over the four-day fiesta.

Now in its 39th year, Europe’s largest annual balloon event is set to attract over half a million locals and visitors alike.

Those looking to witness the mass ascents can catch get a glimpse of the picture-perfect scene twice daily, at 6am and 6pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

As ever, the Fiesta will open on Thursday at midday with hot air balloons tethering throughout the afternoon followed by the special shapes flight at 6pm, displaying an array of unique shaped balloons.

On Thursday and Saturday late night visitors to the festival can witness the famous Night Glows as the hot air balloons appear as giant light bulbs, a stunning sight of 30 balloons with burners roaring bright in time to the music as night falls.

Bristol Balloon FiestaThe festival’s famous Night Glows, image © Paul Box

This year, the city’s gas and electricity company Bristol Energy is offering the public the chance to win a balloon ride for two during one of the mass ascents, alongside 130 other balloons. With three pairs of tickets to be won, the lucky winners have the chance to take to the skies and enjoy magnificent views as they soar over the city.

To enter the competition, visit: bristol-energy.co.uk/balloon and fill in your contact details before 5pm on Tuesday 8thAugust 2017. Flights are valid for 12 months if the balloon ride is unable to happen at the fiesta.

For people planning on driving to the event, car parking must be booked in advance and runs on a tiered system, so the earlier it’s booked the cheaper the price and the closer the space is to the main showground. Early bird premium, main and disabled car parking slots can still be bought here: bristolballoonfiesta.co.uk/tickets

Sue Atkinson, chair of the organising committee, commented: “Images of the Fiesta are seen around the world and put Bristol on the map internationally, attracting thousands of visitors to the showground each year as well as giving the Bristol community an event to be proud of. Whether you’re a balloonist, a visitor or a corporate guest the Balloon Fiesta offers a unique experience for people of all ages and all backgrounds and that’s what makes it so magical.”

Bristol Energy is supporting this year’s event. The city’s gas and electricity company reinvests its profits back into the city, and will be urging this year’s visitors to find a better deal on their energy bills.

One of the UK’s top five outdoor events and the largest event of its kind in Europe, the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is the ideal opportunity to associate your brand with one of the city’s favourite icons – hot air balloons. Offering three tiers of membership to the Members Enclosure, Bronze, Silver and Gold, packages cost £2000, £5000 and £10,000 respectively. Corporate membership provides organisations the perfect opportunity to entertain clients with the best view of the arena, the chance to host guests in the sky or in an exclusive hospitality pod as well as complimentary soft drinks from local suppliers and bespoke catering options.

For more information please visit: bristolballoonfiesta.co.uk or follow the Fiesta @bristolballoon on Twitter and Instagram or @bristolinternationalballoonfiesta on Facebook.

Featured image © Paul Box