Bristol International Balloon Fiesta countdown continues


Colourful balloons have scattered across the skyline of south-west England to mark the 38th Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.

Half a million visitors are expected to descend on the city as it plays host to Europe's largest ballooning event next week.

The fiesta features four days of displays by hot air balloons from across the world, in all shapes and sizes.

Balloons soar from the Ashton Court estate at dawn and dusk, taking in glorious views of the city including the Clifton Suspension Bridge. 

A total of 28 balloons were launched from The Downs in Bristol on Friday for a press launch of the fiesta.

Sue Atkinson, of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, said: "Bristol is the capital of ballooning and this morning's flight highlighted why.

"We have now raised the curtain on the 2016 Fiesta and can't wait to put on four days of entertainment next weekend, littering the city skyline with over one hundred hot air balloons and lighting up the sky at night with our famous night glows."

Late night visitors to the fiesta can watch night glows, in which 30 teams light up their balloons in time to music.

This year will also see the world premiere of artist Luke Jerram's latest work, The Museum of the Moon.

The artist's inflated "moon" installation, made by Bristol company Cameron Balloons, measures seven metres (22.9ft) in diameter and has been made using data collected from Nasa.

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta will run from Thursday August 11 to Sunday August 14.