Balloon fiesta to celebrate 'local heroes'

The organisers of an annual balloon fiesta have created a community-focused extension of the event.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta (BIBF) will host "a celebration of unsung heroes" from the city between 5 and 8 August.

People can nominate their Bristolian "heroes", who will be given the opportunity to take a morning flight in hot air balloons from selected locations within their own communities.

Nominations close on 5 July, and the community heroes will be chosen by 15 July.

The celebration was inspired by the group of friends who founded the event, who said it forms part of a plan to future-proof and expand the Fiesta ahead of its 50th anniversary in 2028.

The Fiesta has become a synonymous icon of Bristol, marking the city's links and heritage to hot air ballooning.

'Heart of everything'

Ben Hardy, executive director of BIBF, said unsung heroes were likely to be people who dedicate their time to helping others.

"We want to reach out into communities across the city and to the people of Bristol who are at the heart of everything we do and to celebrate these local heroes.

“Wherever the flights begin, this celebration of local superheroes will add an exciting new dimension to the Fiesta and underlines our commitment to engage with Bristol’s diverse communities as much as possible to ensure the iconic event soars to new heights.

“It will be very much a city-wide effort and we want to hear about those people and those communities that make our city so special so they can sample the magic of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta in their own backyards.”

The Fiesta returns to Ashton Court Estate from 9 to 11 August in 2024.

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