Hot Air Balloon Fiesta Fun At Bristol International Balloon Fiesta And Telford Balloon Fiesta

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We've had an extremely busy summer here at Virgin Balloon Flights, with balloon fiestas back-to-back, and we wanted to share with you the fun we had at Bristol International Balloon Fiesta and Telford Balloon Fiesta.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

We really kicked our month off with a bang by visiting Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, the largest Balloon Fiesta in Europe. We arrived at the fiesta site at Ashton Court Estate on Thursday to set up and enjoy our first mass ascent.

After enjoying the hustle and bustle of our Virgin Balloon Flights stand and visiting others, a whole day had flown by before we knew it.

Next, it was time for the night glow, and this year, it absolutely blew our socks off with a specially curated soundtrack provided by BBC Radio Bristol for the Fiesta.

We had a great time, with our crew chief Caroline even getting an entire crowd waving their phone flashlights to the song 'Sweet Caroline' (we wonder why she chose that one!).

The pilots practiced the night glow beforehand to get their timings to the music by BBC Radio Bristol spot on. Seeing the tethered balloons lined up and lighting up in sequences in time to the music was great and got all of the crowd up on their feet and dancing along!

The next few days brought two exciting sunrise ascents.

Our hotel was almost shaking from the number of early morning alarms going off at 4am! However, the early starts were definitely worth it, with two large Virgin balloons taking to the skies on both mornings.

On Friday morning, the balloons drifted towards the coast over the local fields, while on Saturday morning, the balloons took a trip to the city and found themselves flying over the Clifton Suspension Bridge and near central Bristol.

The midday sun was very hot, which is why we needed such great entertainment, such as the skydivers and model balloons, along with special shapes being tethered and the Air Ambulance rescue demonstration. The ambulance team even allowed people to have a look around helicopter afterwards.

There was certainly plenty going on to keep our spirits lifted during the heatwave! Despite extreme heat weather conditions, we carried on and all pilots had a challenge ahead, as evening launches were cancelled due to temperatures remaining too high.

Telford Balloon Fiesta

Our next Fiesta was slightly closer to home for us. A stone's throw away from our head office, we headed on down to Telford Balloon Fiesta.

Hosted in Telford Town Park, this was a really great attraction for people to come to, as they were able to walk over from the main shopping centre which houses many transport links.

The Telford Balloon Fiesta definitely kicked off with a rocking soundtrack on a Friday night.

With a crowd full of people dancing away to live music, including the Dirty Rockin' Scoundrels, the balloons were prepared backstage. Literally, behind the stage.

It was a great way to see the mass ascent on the Friday evening, with everyone who wanted to see the inflation preparation looking over the gates or at the brow of the hill, while still being able to be part of a great gig.

Virgin Balloon Flights had two balloons fly together on Friday and Sunday - our big passenger balloon and one of our smaller, non-passenger balloons.

The next two mornings, we set up for the morning mass ascents. Watching the balloons inflate together is always a spectacular sight to see, with more than 30 balloons all taking off together.

The Saturday also saw one of our beautiful, iconic red Virgin balloons tethered in the arena for more than five hours.

Sunrise ascents are always a personal favourite of the team here, as they feel just that bit extra special. The Fiesta saw several special shapes tethered, including the Coffee Pot by MJ ballooning and, on a Sunday, the Orange by MJ ballooning.

The arena entertainment was spectacular, with the IMPS motorcycle display team giving an amazing show. Seeing pyramids created while riding a motorcycle was not something any of us expected!

The whole weekend went great, from mass launches to live entertainment and lots of family fun for everyone.

If you'd like to catch up with us at one of our next Balloon Fiestas, here are the places we regularly attend:

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