Bristol's 39th International Balloon Fiesta gets under way

The night sky was lit up at the start of Bristol’s annual four-day International Balloon Fiesta.

Thousands headed to Ashton Court for the nightglow on Thursday night, where tethered balloons light their burners in time to music.

The event, now in its 39th year, is Europe’s largest balloon festival.

More than 130 balloons are at the festival but the first mass ascent was cancelled because it was too windy.

Don Cameron, founder of Bristol-based manufacturer Cameron Balloons, said it was “terrible” but the event was “weather independent”.

“This weekend it looks as if Friday morning is hopeful but Friday night and Saturday morning might not be so good,” he said.

“Saturday evening going into Sunday is forecast to be very good. The golden rule – we’re learning – is to never write it off.”

The event is due to run until Sunday with another nightglow and fireworks display planned for Saturday night.

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