On its 41st edition this year, Bristol International Balloon Fiesta expects half a million visitors over four days of ballooning and fun, according to the organisers.
With the first special shapes balloons revealed recently in the media, featuring Darth Vader’s head, the event promises another excitement packed edition.
Bristol Balloon Fiesta will take place on August 8th -11th 2019.
Our pilot Nobby, who operates in the area, features among the 2000 balloonists present with over 100 balloons.
He remembers his beginnings at Bristol Balloon Fiesta, back three decades ago, when he worked as a ground crew for “The Financial Times” balloon.
Later on, he attended as a pilot for the first time in 1992, and flew for Virgin Balloon Flights at the event four years later.
Mark (Nobby’s given name) even filmed this video below with the TV chef Gary Rhodes.
Balloonists From All Over The World
We asked Nobby what makes Bristol Balloon Fiesta special, and he said:
“It is a very special balloon fiesta to attend not just because it is my home patch but also because of the atmosphere of launching in front of the huge crowds of spectators.
"The event attracts balloonist from all over the world to attend and it's nice to catch up with lots of old friends and fellow pilots!”
As all our pilots do, Nobby thinks of what the passengers will enjoy at this event as compared to other flights:
“From the passengers perspective flying in amongst 100+ other balloons and being cheered by the huge crowds of spectators on launch is one of the best experiences you can have in ballooning.”
Also, our manufacturer Cameron Balloons, who supply Virgin Balloon Flights with all of our equipment, are based here.
Over the years, Nobby and the other pilots took our passengers up into the skies above Bristol for such a number of times, that it makes it difficult to decide which the best year was.
Looking through our archive of images from the event, we chose a few to share with you. If you have never experienced the fiesta, these images might raise your interest!
Expectations Fly High
After last year's less fortunate weather, our pilot holds high hopes for this August edition.
So do Karen Hill and her husband, the passengers who flew with us for 22 times in 21 years. They experienced Albuquerque Fiesta, but not Bristol yet.
Karen told us:
“I am really looking forward to going up from the Bristol Balloon Fiesta and join loads of others filling the sky with balloons.
"Last year it was such a wash out but keeping fingers crossed for a wonderful flight this year.”
With expectations flying high, the organisers have shared with us some of the highlights of this year’s fiesta.
As Ian Martin says, they are producing a downloadable app for participants, through which they can keep updated and also get organised for the event.
We will publish more details about what will be new and different in a following blog.