10 hot air balloons to look out for at the 2017 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

The 2017 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta starts tomorrow and there are 10 special hot air balloons to look out for as they take off from the rolling hills of Ashton Court!

From brand new balloons to special shapes and world firsts, over 130 hot air balloons are registered to attend the fiesta to put on a magical show for the hundreds of thousands of expected visitors.

  1. The Thatchers hot air balloon – a brand new balloon which is yellow and green and emblazoned with the Somerset company’s strapline, ‘what ciders supposed to taste like.’
  2. The Belvoir juice drop balloon – a uniquely-shaped, giant yellow drop of Belvoir in the sky.
  3. The ‘Spirit of Jess’ balloon – this balloon commemorates the friendship formed between two young people with cancer and the charity that supported them. James Burrows and Jess Thomas were treated on the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre in early 2015 and immediately became close friends. Jess relapsed in early 2016 and sadly passed away. James and his father Paul have created this balloon to dedicate it to Jess’s memory and Teenage Cancer Trust.
  4. The Bristol Energy balloon – the world’s very first solar-hybrid hot air balloon. Made of light weight polyurethane coated nylon, the black side of the balloon attracts heat from the sun to make the air inside of the balloon envelope much hotter than the ambient temperature – the silver side of the balloon then prevents that heat from escaping. The balloon is fitted with propane burners, just in case the sun disappears mid-flight, which is what makes it a solar-hybrid.
  5. Minion balloon – the children’s favourite balloon returns to the fiesta this year. In celebration of the latest film, Despicable Me 3, the giant 6 metre tall special shape Stuart will don a brand new outfit, redressed in prison overhauls for 2017.
  6. The Stowell’s Wine Box balloon – this flying wine box is so big it could house the equivalent of 100,000 real boxes on wine, equalling 24 million glasses of wine, about 50 per citizen of Bristol!
  7. The Maxwell House balloon – a flying coffee jar hot air balloon.
  8. Mr. Peanut Man – a balloon made in the shape of a peanut with top hat, monocle and arms.
  9. Simbaloo the Longleat Lion – this family favourite will return again this year after making his debut appearance in last year.
  10. Ricoh cube balloon – Last but not least, this giant red Ricoh balloon has bright red symmetrical sides visible for miles.

The Fiesta will open on Thursday 10th August at midday with hot air balloons tethering throughout the afternoon followed by the special shapes flight at 6pm, displaying an array of unique shaped balloons.

On Thursday and Saturday late night visitors to the festival can witness the famous Night Glows as the hot air balloons appear as giant light bulbs, a stunning sight of 30 balloons with burners roaring bright in time to the music as night falls.

For more information about the 2017 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta please visit http://www.bristolballoonfiesta.co.uk/.