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The Best of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Happy Birthday to the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Europe’s biggest ballooning festival.

In pictures: The best of the Bristol balloon fiesta

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta – Europe’s largest ballooning event – is celebrating its 40th anniversary this weekend.

Half a million people are expected to attend the free festival, which will include weird and wonderful balloons, from Rupert the Bear to the Michelin Man.

Around 140 balloonists from across the world are expected to be at the four-day festival, which is taking place at the Ashton Court Estate.

The fiesta includes a series of ‘mass ascents’, though they are weather dependants and planned ascents on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning were cancelled.

The celebration also reportedly includes ‘Nightglows’ – tethered balloons lighting up to music – as well as fireworks displays.

[Pictures: PA/Getty]