Bristol Balloon Fiesta seeks to attract Darth Vader balloon

The organisers of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta have launched an appeal to raise £10,000 in order to bring a balloon fashioned in the shape of Darth Vader’s iconic helmet to this year’s event.

This giant hot air balloon was made by Cameron Balloons in the Bristol district of Bedminster, yet despite having flown in various locations around the world, it has never flown in Bristol. Another local connection to the balloon comes in the form of Bristol’s David Prowse, the actor that played Darth Vader in the Star Wars trilogy, however, his voice was replaced by that of James Earl Jones in the final versions.

When this year’s balloon fiesta takes place between August 8 and August 11, the organisers hope to have the balloon there, but they claim transporting the balloon and its crew to the Ashton Court Estate will cost an extra £10,000. This needs to be raised by August 2 if the balloon is to make the event.

A spokesperson for the event said:

“While each year through relentless energy, passion and hard work we just about manage to raise the required funds to put on this incredible event, we’re left with very little reserves to really add something special to the programme and protect the event for future years to come.”

Bristol’s annual balloon fiesta costs about £750,000 and is organised on a not-for-profit basis. It is not funded publicly, so volunteers need to raise the necessary capital to make the event a reality each year.

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