The Bristol Balloon Fiesta is famed for its spectacular display of hot air balloons, but they’re not the only things worth going for. With the fiesta taking place this week from Thursday 10 – Sunday 13, here’s our pick of the fun things you can do this year that don’t involve balloons.
Fiesta Bandstand – every afternoon, from 2pm Thursday & Friday and 12.30pm Saturday & Sunday
Arranged by Jelli Records, this year’s Fiesta Bandstand will showcase artists covering a broad range of genres, ensuring that there will be something for just about everyone. From CBeebies performers the Twirlywoos, performing every day at 2pm, to a contributor to David Bowie’s Space Oddity album, Keith Christmas, performing on Thursday at 4pm, there’s guaranteed to be something to your taste.
Bradley Stoke Radio will also be presenting an acoustic set every afternoon.
Happy’s Circus – every afternoon
If you’re bringing kids to the festival, Happy’s Circus is definitely worth checking out. They put on shows working with charities and schools throughout the UK, and raised more than £285,000 during 2016.
On each day of the fiesta, Happy’s will put on four shows, each one full to the brim with hilarious and exciting acts, such as illusion, aerial silks, hi-bicycle, and, of course, clowns performing original humorous material. All of the Happy’s performances will be in the 600-seat all-weather Big Top, so come rain or shine, you’ll have a show to go to.
Firework Finale – Thursday and Saturday from 9pm
One of the fiesta’s most popular and famous events, the night sky over Ashton Court will be lit up on Thursday and Saturday night from 9-10pm, first by luminous hot air balloons, and then by a breathtaking fireworks display.
This sight will be visible across a large area, but you won’t be able to beat the view from inside Ashton Court itself.