Thousands joined Cheltenham Balloon Fiesta 2019 last weekend, with over 20,000 present only on the first day. Our pilot Russell Collins flew his Virgin hot air balloon carrying passengers at the event.

With calm weather and great visibility early on Saturday, most participating balloons launched in the morning light. Passengers could look over the town, the bridge over Severn, the estuary. They enjoyed views stretching even as far as the towers of Birmingham and Oxford power station.

Russell texted across his fresh impressions of the event:

“Approximately 50 balloons in attendance, most launched Saturday morning. Passengers loved it! It was beautiful for them to fly in the company of other balloons too.”

Also, participant Jack Swords sent across some stunning images of our red hot air balloon in flight. We share them here with thanks to Jack.

If you spot our balloons up in the sky, whether at events or just by chance, you can enter our #BalloonSpotter competition. Post them on social media using the hashtags and you can win a Sunrise Gift Package For Two at the end of the year.

Circus, Stunts, And Nightglow

Our pilot captured himself the view over the grounds from this first flight at the event. You can see other balloons getting ready to launch and a big chunk of the fiesta grounds below. Besides the 105 flights launched in total over two days, the 22nd and 23rd of June, the fiesta offered a variety of activities and entertainment on display.

In the photos sent in by Russell, you will see the funfair rides lined up in the fresh morning light. Stunt demos, circus workshops, a display of kites and the nightglow event with eight balloons in total added to a thrilling Cheltenham Balloon Fiesta 2019.

Check Out Northampton Festival

While still counting the total number of participants for Sunday, organiser John Tyrrell talks about new ideas for 2020. He also plans for the next similar event for the Northampton Town Festival, held on 5th-7th July 2019.