Bristol balloon fiesta flypast to take place over city

Bristol International Balloon FiestaImage copyright Bristol International Balloon Fiesta
Image caption A balloon flypast will take place in Bristol next month

This year’s Bristol Balloon fiesta will still go ahead – but only as a “flypast” in the sky.

Organisers of the annual event have been forced to cancel the usual on-the-ground activities at Ashton Court because of social distancing rules.

The flypast will take place next month, with balloons taking to the skies over the city.

There will also be a virtual “nightglow” when tethered balloons light their burners in time to music.

Chris Allcock, Bristol International Balloon Fiesta chair, said he was “deeply saddened” a gathering could not take place as usual.

“But we have been working with our balloonists and the authorities to create an event which adheres to the social-distancing restrictions.

Image caption The Bristol International balloon Fiesta is Europe’s largest annual event of its kind

“We are inviting Bristolians to watch the balloons from the safety of their own doorsteps and gardens,” he said.

“We’re asking people to give them a wave as they fly past Bristol’s communities.”

The flypast will take place on a yet-to-be-decided date between 1 and 14 August.

The virtual nightglow, organised in conjunction with BBC Radio Bristol, will take place at a private location and will be available to watch online on 8 August.

The event is the largest annual hot air balloon event in Europe and normally attracts more than 500,000 visitors each year.

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