I’ve been to the Night Glow at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta – Video

Last night I visited the Night Glow at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta, the first time I’d been, even though I’ve lived in Bristol for nearly 20 years. Of course, I’d seen the balloons drifting over the rooftops at this time of year, being prompted to look up by the roaring of the burners above me.

One year on the final day, we took a picnic on to the green space of the Downs which overlooks the Avon Gorge and the Ashton Court park where the Fiesta is held. It’s a great vantage point for seeing the balloons drift up into the sky, framed by the gorge and the Clifton Suspension bridge. The wind blew the wind in our directions and many landed on the grass where we were sitting, including a huge Scottish bagpiper, scattering the onlookers.

The balloon glow is held on the Thursday and Saturday of the Fiesta after dark and the tethered balloons are arranged in an oval and light their burners in time to the music. It’s a bit like a ring of giant light bulbs flickering on and off in rhythm with Abba and Tom Jones. It was quite a sight and one I’d definitely go to next year, especially as the whole event is free.

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Next time I’ll be angling for a balloon ride over Bristol, when the balloons take off at 6am and 6pm, although not sure if I could get up for the early flight. Just so long as we don’t land on the traffic island, like I saw a balloon do that year when they all landed in the middle of our picnic.

Check for the best hotel prices in Bristol and book here.

This post is part of Photo Friday, hosted at Delicious Baby. See all the other Friday photos here.

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See my Bristol balloon photos on Flickr



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  • Reply
    Amie from Ciao Bambino
    August 7, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    That must be pure magic to see all of those balloons glowing at night …

  • Reply
    August 8, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    I’ve had bad luck flying in an air balloon and all of my attempts haven’t happened for one reason or another. It’s something that’s very high on my list of things to do.

    The balloons must have been beautiful at night.

  • Reply
    marina k. villatoro
    August 8, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    That has got to be the coolest event ever! I’ve never even heard of stuff like that.
    I love reading blogs, I learn sooooo much!

  • Reply
    Tim Marks
    August 8, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    We have a balloon fest near us and we have never been. We need to get there the photo ops must be plentiful and easy. The light show was pretty cool.

  • Reply
    Camels & Chocolate
    August 10, 2009 at 3:47 am

    Wow! What a cool event and great shots. I’ve seen a lot of photos online lately about hot air balloon festivals, but have never had the opportunity to attend one myself. Perhaps I should head to Bristol (or New Mexico, which is perhaps slightly closer) this time next year =)

  • Reply
    Heather Cowper
    August 10, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Personally Kristin I’m sure the weather is better in New Mexico – in Bristol the event is always in danger of being rained off even in August.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2009 at 2:46 am

    I’ve never seen balloons illuminated at nighttime like this! Great photo and video makes me want to try seeking out a balloon fest nearby to go and take photos!

  • Reply
    August 26, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    The baloons look majestic, must have been really a great pleasure to see the show 🙂

  • Reply
    Wandering Educators
    August 30, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    how very cool!! so gorgeous. thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Heather on her travels around the web in September - Heather on her travels
    September 16, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    […] thanks for the mention on the Carnival of the Cities at Emm in London for my post on the Nightglow at the Bristol Balloon festival – see the video of the balloons lighting up at night in time to the music. It’s the first […]

  • Reply
    opium mar
    October 19, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Valuable information. Fortunate me I found your website accidentally, and I’m shocked why this coincidence didn’t came about earlier! I bookmarked it.
    opium mar´s last blog post ..1

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