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Bristol International Balloon Fiesta to hold "flypast" this summer

Because of coronavirus the Fiesta will not take place in it's usual form this year. (Credit: Bristol International Balloon Fiesta)

The Bristol Balloon Fiesta will go ahead this summer - but not as we know it.

Organisers of the Fiesta have announced plans for 2020, which will include activity in the sky and online, but no on-the-ground activity at Ashton Court as would usually be the case.

Instead, a "Fiesta Flypast" will take place some time between 1-14 August, with balloons taking to the sky over the city.

Chris Allcock, Bristol International Balloon Fiesta Chair explains; “We’re all deeply saddened that we can’t gather at Ashton Court to celebrate the 42nd Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, but we have been working with our balloonists and the authorities to create an event which adheres to the social distancing restrictions."

"We are inviting Bristolians to watch the balloons from the safety of their own doorsteps and gardens.

"Social distancing means we absolutely cannot gather in parks or Bristol’s open spaces or invite our audiences to see the balloons take off or land, to protect our pilots and the public.

"Instead we’re asking people to give them a wave as they fly past Bristol’s communities."

To make sure people cannot gather in advance of the flypast, the organisers are not specifying exactly which day the event will take place.

They are also not going to reveal where the balloons will take off from or land at, "to adhere to government guidelines".

"Bristol audiences are urged to stay away from public spaces and protect the city from incurring any surge in Covid-19 as a result of the event," a statement published today reads.

Anyone who has already bought car-parking for the usual event in Ashton Court will be able to log into the ticket platform to select a refund, which will be automatically processed within 25 days.

Those wishing to support the event through 2020 can select an option to donate their ticket, either the full, or partial amount, using the same process.

With just over one month to go to the traditional fiesta event dates, the organisers say more information will be announced over the coming weeks.

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