Eastbourne’s hot air balloon festival is almost ready for take off

The town's first ever international hot air balloon festival starts tomorrow
The town's first ever international hot air balloon festival starts tomorrow

Eastbourne’s skies will be filled with balloons this weekend as the town’s first ever International Hot Air Balloon Festival takes off.

After much anticipation, Eastbourne residents and visitors from across the region can enjoy the colourful spectacle and a host of other activities in Hampden Park.

Guests at the brand new event will be able to watch the mass ascent of 10 hot air balloons tomorrow (Saturday, June 29) and Sunday.

Festival director Sandy Boyce-Sharpe said, “We anticipate 10,000 to 18,000 people from south east England to come to Eastbourne to see the fun. You name it, there’s something for everyone.”

Along with static balloon displays, Hampden Park will be filled with classic cars, a dog show, visiting fire engines and live stage entertainment.

Guests can enjoy pony rides or a circuit on a miniature steam train and there will be a visiting fire engine on both afternoons, duty permitting.

Brighton kite flyers will be putting on displays throughout the weekend, there will be a flash mob on both afternoons and Morris dancing on Sunday.

The event will run from 11am until 10pm on Saturday and from 11am until 5pm on Sunday.

Organisers say balloons will be launched at dawn (approximately 6am) and dusk (around 7pm) on Saturday and again at dawn on Sunday, weather permitting.

There will be a ‘NightGlow’ session after dark with hot air balloon fire burners ignited to the beat of the music from 9.20pm in the main arena.

“Never seen it before?” asked Sandy Boyce-Sharpe.

“It’s a really funky experience. It’s quite spectacular.”

The celebration will end with a firework finale.

All balloon flights are weather permitting and at the discretion of the flight controller, organisers say.

Admission to the event is free. For more information visit www.balloonsovereastbourne.com