Blast From The Past[caption id="attachment_8891" align="alignright" width="300"] The iconic Virgin Jumbo special shape balloon comes out of retirement for the Fiesta's 40th event. Photo credit - Richard Cardy.[/caption] The famous Virgin 747 Jumbo special shape balloon returned to Bristol Balloon Fiesta to mark its 40th event. We’re told it first took to the skies all the way back in 1986 and while no longer air-worthy for flight, it was inflated and tethered in the arena for crowds to enjoy on the Saturday. One of a pair of Virgin 747 Jumbo balloons, there’s a rumour she was once flown by our very own Virgin Balloon Flights pilot Graham Dorrell back in the day. The balloon was one of 40 special shapes booked to attend Bristol Balloon Fiesta to help mark its milestone year.
Hot Air Balloon ProposalLove was in the air during the only mass ascent of the weekend, when Kristy and Dean got engaged 1,000 feet up in our big red balloon. The couple travelled all the way from Swansea for the balloon festival, [caption id="attachment_8893" align="alignleft" width="200"] Congratulations Kristy and Dean![/caption] “I booked it to propose and we were just so unbelievably lucky to fly, as the pilot said we were probably on the only flight that would go ahead that weekend,” said Dean. “Kristy has always mentioned she wanted to do it, so I asked her if she wanted to do it this year. “But she didn’t know I was going to propose. “The pilot was brilliant and all the others on there made it even better, when he said ‘they’ve just got engaged’. “I didn’t know he’d videoed it until he said after, and that he would send it to me. It was really cool and something we’ll always remember.” [caption id="attachment_8889" align="alignright" width="200"] Richard Cardy captures the Saturday morning mass ascent from the basket of our Virgin balloon.[/caption] We’d say asking someone to marry you on a flight from Bristol Balloon Fiesta might just be one of the most memorable proposals ever.
Hot Air Balloon Special GuestsWe invited hot air balloon photography enthusiast Richard Cardy to join us for the Saturday morning mass ascent. Richard took an iconic photo of four beautiful big red Virgin balloons launching at our very first Bristol International Balloon Fiesta back in 1995. He flew with us on the day 23 years ago so what better way for us to celebrate the Fiesta’s 40th anniversary than by asking him to fly with us again. [caption id="attachment_8887" align="alignleft" width="200"] Hello from Bertie Basset balloon 1 & 2!
Photo credit Richard Cardy[/caption] This time around, he took his young son Charlie with him for the only mass ascent flight of the entire weekend. He also took some fabulous photographs, several of which we’ve used in this blog. “It was a fantastic morning – a big thank you to all the Virgin Balloon Flights team,” he said.