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NEWS EXTRA: Bristol Balloon Fiesta off to a damp and windy start

The 40th anniversary event has started with thousands of people enjoying the night glow and entertainment in Ashton Court, but sadly poor weather prevented the first two mass balloon ascents.

Windy conditions prevented the opening day ascent from taking place, while forecast heavy rain put an end to flying early on day 2. 

The yellow smoke announced to the crowd at Ashton Court that the balloons wouldn't be taking off but would instead be tethered.

One family travelled from Manchester leaving at 0130 on Friday morning to see the spectacle of more than a hundred balloons take to the air, but despite saying they were 'disappointed' they were still laughing and in good spirits!

The opening day culminated with a glorious night glow and fireworks. 

Many of you loved our video showing rehearsals for the night glow:

It's the Balloon Fiesta's 40th Anniversary this year and founder and chairman Don Cameron told us how it all began:

He said he was proud that they'd managed to keep the fiesta as a free event despite its size and popularity. 

Hot air fans got to see an old friend on Thursday night as Rupert Bear inflated after nearly two decades away from the fiesta - as you can see he wasn't too impressed by the gusty conditions! 

One of the international balloons at the show is 'Owl-bert Einstein' - pilot Gary Moore from Arizona told us 'Owl-bert' is a 'Professor of Hot Air'! We believe you Gary!

For details of the event see our other web articles or head to : http://www.bristolballoonfiesta.co.uk/

Pictures, video, audio & text by Jonathan Richards

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