Mixed success for first Cheltenham Balloon Fiesta
The inaugural Cheltenham Balloon Fiesta took place on the weekend of June 22, but weather conditions meant that not all the hot air balloon events could take place over both days.
The Saturday was relatively successful, with many balloons taking to the air in the morning as spectators enjoyed picnics on the ground below. In the afternoon, however, powerful gusts prevented the balloons from being tethered, although a second event could take place in the evening followed by a nightglow show later on.
Sunday was less fortunate, though, because weather conditions prevented both the morning and evening ascents from taking place. Although this was disappointing to many visitors, other live entertainment and a funfair was available at the site.
For their part, the event’s organisers apologised for any inconvenience, saying:
“We are really sorry that this was the case. The pilots and ourselves were incredibly disappointed. Every balloon event is weather dependent. We have filled the day with a lot of amazing live entertainment, which is all included in the entry price.”
Organisers have also expressed a hope for better weather next year and pledged to look into addressing other issues that people reported, including parking facilities and difficulties watching the live shows.
Weather conditions are of course an inherent concern with hot air balloons, and the safety of pilots and passengers is always paramount. When booking a hot air balloon ride, always check out the operator’s policy for what happens if a ride needs to be cancelled.