Adventure Tourism

Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2018 kick starts in Ashton Court

The Bristol Balloon Fiesta makes its long-awaited return to Bristol’s Ashton Court this weekend and is sure to attract visitors from across the country.

Bristol’s biggest annual festival is the largest hot air ballooning event in Europe and crowds of around 100,000 people are expected to descend on Ashton Court each day.

The festival runs from August 9-12, with its famous Night Glows taking place on the Thursday and Saturday evenings and its mass ascents happening daily, subject to the weather.

Bristol balloon fiesta is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018 and is marking the occasion in style with a number of special shape balloons and a host of other new features and celebrations across the weekend.

Of the 200 or so balloons set to take off, depending on the weather of course, 40 of them will be magnificent special shapes designed to celebrate the event’s 40th anniversary.

And better still, some old favourites from previous balloon fiestas will be making a triumphant return to make the celebration even better, including the DHL ‘World in a Box’, which first appeared at the Fiesta back in 1994, and the Mr Wonderfuel gas flame balloon depicting the character made famous in TV adverts in the 1980s.

Joining them will be Fiesta classics such as Peanut Man, the Michelin Man, Owlbert Einstein and the mammoth Superbike, which will be the largest balloon at this year’s event weighing 600 Kg.

Visitors will also be able to feast their eyes on a giant birthday cake, which will be making its debut this year, as well as popular modern balloons including Simbaloo the Longleat Lion and the Belvoir Balloon.

“The 40th anniversary is a huge milestone so it’s only right that we bring something truly special to celebrate this and there’s nothing the crowd loves more than special shapes,” said Don Cameron, founder and chairman of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.