Bristol Balloon Fiesta mass ascent goes ahead

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta's Saturday evening's mass ascent has seen 85 balloons take to the sky.

Director Clive Bailey said the morning lift-off, which was scheduled for 06:00 BST at the festival site at Ashton Court, was cancelled due to strong winds.

Mass ascents of balloons were scheduled for 06:00 and 18:00 BST on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Organisers said 63 balloons took off on Friday morning and 88 in the evening.

On Friday morning, one balloon made contact with the roof of a house in the Kingswood area of Bristol before lifting off.

Nobody is thought to have been injured.

A special shapes ascent due to take place on Thursday was cancelled due to the wind.

The festival started on Thursday evening and ends on Sunday.

'Super day'

The nightglow, which sees balloons glowing in time to music, and fireworks rounded off Saturday's events.

Image caption A balloon made contact with the roof of a house in Kingswood

Mr Bailey said: "The winds are just a little bit too strong for safe ballooning and so we've had to cancel flights this morning.

"There's also some fairly low cloud about and it's just not worth taking the risk."

But he added: "Tomorrow's shaping up to be a super day. Flights in the morning we're hoping, and the Red Arrows and a flight tomorrow night."

The theme for this year's fiesta is Made in Bristol as the event celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Bristol-based balloon manufacturer, Cameron Balloons, founded by ballooning pioneer Don Cameron.

For safety reasons, Clifton Suspension Bridge will be closed to traffic and pedestrians from 18:00 on Saturday to 02:00 on Sunday.

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