Thousands flock to 2014 Bristol Balloon Fiesta

  • 8 August 2014
  • From the section Bristol

Dozens of hot air balloons have taken off from the Ashton Court estate as part of the 36th annual Bristol Balloon Fiesta.

The fiesta, now in its 36th year, attracts pilots and visitor from across the UK and Europe - and some from the United States.

In contrast to previous years there was very little wind and many of the 121 balloons which took off landed on the North Somerset Showground - a journey of some two miles (3.2km).

On Friday morning the pilots took part in a "hare and hounds" race where the lead balloon lands and puts down a cross marker.

The prize goes to the closest pilot to land to the "hare".

The four-day event started off on Thursday evening with the first ascent followed by the "night glow" - where balloonists on the ground flash their burners in time to music.

That was followed by a fireworks display.

Organisers said the event had one of its busiest opening nights with thousands of people coming to watch the free entertainment.

The event runs until Sunday with mass ascents, weather permitting, each day at 06:00 and 18:00 BST.

More pictures of the fiesta sent in by viewers to BBC Points West and BBC Radio Bristol listeners can be seen on their Facebook pages.

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