Bristol

Bristol Balloon Fiesta 2019: Darth Vader balloon leads mass ascent

Bristol Balloon Fiesta
Image caption A balloon shaped like Darth Vader appeared above Clifton Suspension Bridge

A mass ascent of hot air balloons has taken to the skies over Bristol as the city's annual Balloon Fiesta gets under way.

Featuring a range of different shaped balloons, the ascent included one of Star Wars villain Darth Vader.

Dozens of balloons headed over the city towards the Clifton Suspension Bridge, after the ascent began at 06:30 BST.

Organisers brought the ascent forward by 24 hours, due to predicted strong winds on Friday and Saturday.

Darth Vader balloon Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The Darth Vader balloon was one of the highlights of Thursday's ascent

The nightglows planned for Thursday and Saturday evenings are still scheduled to take place, a spokesman said.

Thousands of visitors are due to attend the 41st Bristol International Balloon Fiesta over the weekend.

It is one of Europe's largest ballooning events, and more than 130 colourful hot air balloons from across the world are due to attend.

Bristol Balloon Fiesta Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Thousands of visitors are due to attend the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta
Bristol Balloon Fiesta
Image caption The mass ascent was brought forward by 24 hours because bad weather is forecast

The Darth Vader balloon took to the skies for the first time, after it was made following a crowd funding campaign.

It was taking part in a mass ascent along with 56 other balloons from countries including Japan and Taiwan.

Bristol Balloon Fiesta Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Balloons took to the skies at about 06:30 BST
Balloons over Bristol
Image caption People in Perrett's Park, Bristol watched the balloons take off
Bristol Balloon Fiesta Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Dozens of balloons took to the skies
Bristol Balloon Fiesta Image copyright PA Media
Image caption More than 50 balloons took part in the mass ascent

.

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites