I had always wanted to go to the Bristol Balloon Fiesta but something had always somehow managed to throw my plans off course, but this year I was determined to take my little girls to see the brilliant display of all those magnificent balloons going into the air.
So off we headed across the Severn bridge to Ashton Court to check out the opening night of the Balloon Fiesta and my girls and I were very excited. After getting lost in Bristol for about an hour (yes really, useless sat nav app and useless sense of direction over here!) and seeing some of the sights and some impressive graffiti along the way, which I made a mental note to check out at another time, we finally made our way to the Fiesta.
It was a bit later in the day than I had hoped but the special shapes had started to inflate already and the Scottish Cup and Power Ranger balloons were all ready to go when we arrived. There were crowds of people happily sat on picnic blankets and enjoying the view and plenty of people enjoying the fairground rides too!
After a while the balloons started to go up and I’m not sure who was more impressed me or the girls, we had never been up close to one of these balloons before and seeing the teams quickly set about blowing them up and coordinating the launches was interesting to watch. I didn’t realise how calm it would all be though and watching them gracefully float up was mesmerising.
Of course the Minion Stuart balloon was a hit with the children, as were Mr and Mrs Penguin, I think. They were very cute, and a lot bigger in real life than I imagined.
As the evening drew in we got to see the wonderful model balloons being walked around the arena, we loved seeing the different colours and the children getting involved!
The sun soon set and after we had devoured some gorgeous doughnuts we took a spot ready for the night glow, I had done a little bit of research and watched a video from last year and was expecting to be impressed but honestly we were amazed, the music and the giant balloons lighting up in time was spectacular, it even made me a little emotional!
The fireworks that followed were magical too, and both my girls said the night show and fireworks were their favourite parts, so if you can make it I would highly recommend you get down to Ashton Court tonight for the show tonight.
As we left we had a little go on the fairground and tried some of the chips from the Cheesy Chips van (delicious) and could see everyone else happily heading home after a wonderful event.
We absolutely loved the opening night, and everything was organised well even down to the toilets and security. I really felt as though everything has been well thought out. Heart FM were there entertaining the crowds as well which was great to see, there is also an arts and crafts tent and plenty for children there.
In it’s 37th year I can really see why Bristol are so proud of this event, I will be back again this weekend to try and get some landscape shots with my little camera, but as a family event this is certainly ‘the one’ for me. I will definitely be taking the family again next year.
Check out the Bristol Balloon Fiesta’s social media on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for updates.