News, events and schools' information for families across Bristol

It’s a true sign that summer has arrived in Bristol, when balloons start floating across the city skyline. Celebrating its 44th year, the Bristol International Balloon Festival has announced it will be returning to its home at Ashton Court Estate between Thursday 11th and Sunday 14th August.

Europe’s largest annual ballooning event will once again attract hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world to witness the wonderful sight of over 100 hot air balloons taking off together and silently sailing over the city.

The free event will feature four days of balloon activity, with mass ascents planned at 6am and 6pm each day. Following two years without, the popular Nightglows will return on Thursday and Sunday night this year, which sees tethered balloons lighting up and dancing to music provided by BBC Radio Bristol, followed by impressive firework displays.

“After a difficult two years for our communities and, of course, many of our balloonists, we are delighted to be bringing the fiesta back home to Ashton Court,” Don Cameron, founder and chairman of the Fiesta told us. “We’re hoping for sunny skies and light winds as many new balloons take the skies, alongside some old favourites from the UK and lots of international destinations.”

As well as the balloons, there will be plenty of entertainment for all the family, including aerial displays, children’s activities and entertainment, fairground rides, food stalls and bars, balloon tethering and demonstrations, model aircraft displays and a local music stage.

Photo credits: paulbox © framedogs