Bristol’s balloon fiesta kicked off last night, despite weather warnings cramping the style of the Europe’s largest hot-air balloon festival.

Last night’s mass balloon launch was cancelled due to strong winds, although 30 balloons still took to the skies, blasting their flames to music as fireworks went off. 50,000 spectators turned up to watch.

Bristol's Balloon Fiesta took to the skies on Thursday night.

This morning 81 of the 150 balloons that had been hoping to launch took off over Bristol.

BBC weatherman Ian Fergusson said: “This window of opportunity first thing this morning has been well forecasted so it’s great they are making the best of it.

“They need to because as the day continues the prospect of further flights will diminish as we see more showers develop.”

Bristol Balloon Fiesta on Fridau morning

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta will continue until Sunday with an estimated half a million people expected to turn up.

Don Cameron, director of Bristol’s Balloon Fiesta, told AFP:

“It’s beautifully old-fashioned, gloriously obsolete, a vintage way of flying.

“There is a magic about flying in balloons because you’re not rushing, you can drift along quite slowly, lean over the edge of the basket, and sometimes fly so low that you can chat to people on the ground.”

Bristol Ballooon Fiesta will continue until Sunday

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