Bristol businesses prepare for lift off at annual balloon fiesta

Half a million visitors from all over the world are expected to descend on Bristol this weekend as Europe’s largest free ballooning event returns to the city.

Taking place between 11 and 14 August, the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta (BIBF) – now in its 38th year – will see more than 150 hot air balloons participate in a series of early morning and evening ‘Mass Ascents’ and ‘Nightglows’ in the skies above the Ashton Court Estate.

An aerial display by the Parabatix Flying Display team and the unveiling of Luke Jerram’s ‘The Museum of the Moon’ – a seven-metre wide moon featuring detailed NASA imagery of the moon's surface – are also set to feature in a packed timetable devised by the BIBF organising committee.

Leading members of the local and regional business community are also throwing their weight behind the four-day fiesta, including title partners Bristol Waste, official partners Thatchers, St Austell Brewery and Bristol Energy, and event members Thrings, Smith & Williamson and JLL.

For the fourth year in a row, Thrings is sponsoring Friday’s Balloon Fiesta Business Breakfast. Attended by more than 180 leading business professionals, the event will feature a panel debate on the business community’s growing shift towards ‘working for purpose’.

The debate will be chaired by former BBC Radio Bristol presenter Steve Le Fevre, with Tracey Morgan, managing director of Bristol Waste Company, and Steve Fuller, creative head at brand agency, The House, among the panellists.

Thrings and Smith & Williamson will also be co-hosting their annual family-friendly business seminar for guests and their families. While parents and guardians hear the latest on succession planning for family businesses from legal and tax experts, their children will take part in an afternoon of games, balloon-making and face painting with a group of registered childminders.

Elsewhere, Thrings, JLL and Barton Willmore are once again sponsoring the Bristol Property Networking event, bringing together key organisations and professionals connected with the local and regional property industry to share ideas, discuss future initiatives and watch the mass balloon launch.

Thrings partner Jane Oakland, a member of the BIBF organising committee, says: “The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta has become a regular feature in both the city’s social and business calendars.

“It continues to attract individuals, families and businesses from all over the world, which not only helps to enhance Bristol’s reputation as an international hot air ballooning centre but also injects more than £15 million into the local economy every year.”

For more details about the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta business events, please contact Harriet Williams on hwilliams@thrings.com / 0117 374 9622. For information about the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, click here.

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