Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 2008 Review
The 2008 fiesta had a news inflation on the Wednesday, before the fiesta officially began on Thursday. The Stroud & Swindon round balloon, Wiseman Dairies, Expedia and Complete all cold air inflated.
Thursday came and the fiesta had officially started! As normally seen in the afternoon of the 4 days every year, tethering took place. Normally the Thursday afternoon tether is slightly bigger than the other 3 days because TV crews are reporting that the fiesta has just begun, creating even more publicity.
After the afternoon tethering had finished, conditions in Ashton Court looked promising, but then winds picked up so the special shapes launch was cancelled. Balloons that tethered in the arena included: Stroud & Swindon house G-CDWV, Redrow G-CFXR, EDF Energy G-CEDF, Wiseman Dairies G-OMOO, IKEA G-IKEA operated by Phoenix Balloons, Chubb fire extinguisher G-BZJA, the Monster G-MSTR operated by the Airship & Balloon Company, Avenue G-CFIK, House of Fraser G-CFKF, Expedia G-XPDA and Gordon Ramsay G-RMSY. Ride balloon companies like the Ballooning network and Bailey balloons were getting their balloons ready, but in the end the wind was just too strong. First Flight decided to tether their House of Fraser balloon because it was made to promote their large store opening in Cabot Circus. This is worth doing as pictures will be seen online and live on TV.
It was still too windy for the balloons to take off on Friday morning, but there was a huge tethering display including the Discovery Channel, Stroud & Swindon shape & round balloon, Redrow, EDF Energy, Epson, Kubicek Racers X2, IKEA shape, Avon Fire & Rescue, David Hathaway, Cancer Research, VK Vodka, Expedia, Fishtank, G-CBMK, Permo Air, Vital Resources, New Holland, G-HEXE and JA-A1270.
The Friday evening launch was the best part of the 2008 fiesta. The special shapes that launched were the BBM&L's Barrel G-PINT, IKEA G-IKEA, the Stroud & Swindon House G-CDWV operated by Lindstrand, Chubb fire extinguisher G-BZJA, Cockerel F-GOCO, Kiwi bird A6-KWI and the Monster G-MSTR. At the end of the launch the Piper G-PIPY was nearly fully inflated, and we're unsure if it stood up properly.
Saturday morning was also pretty good with a fairly large amount of balloons lifting into the skies. The Cockerel was the only special shape to ascend, and we also saw the IKEA round balloon taking off instead of G-IKEA.
The fiesta then got worse as that was the last launch to go ahead in 2008. The Red Arrows performed their display on Sunday afternoon, ending an average fiesta.