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Friday, 11 August, 2000, 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK
Fresh bid for balloon record
Bristol International Balloon Fiesta
The record attempts will continue over the weekend
The organisers of a balloon fiesta have narrowly missed out on setting a new European record for the biggest mass launch.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta
A record 150 balloons will take part in the fiesta
More than 110 balloons took off in just over an hour at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta on Friday in an attempt to break the record.

But the organisers said there would be another attempt on Friday evening, and other bids as the four-day festival continues over the weekend.

The record stands at 127 balloons launched from one site in 65 minutes.

Friday's launch did manage to break the European "density" record with 90 balloons taking off in a 30-minute period.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta
Novelty balloons included the FA Cup
"The weather was so fantastic. Even the experienced commercial pilots looked impressed," said event spokeswoman Caroline Harris.

The fiesta is based at the Ashton Court Estate, near the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol.

It opened on Thursday evening when an estimated 100,000 people watched a spectacular "night glow".

This involved balloons using burners to light up their inflated canopies with their burners.

balloons
Up, up and away
The event began 22 years ago and is Europe's largest hot air balloon festival, with some 150 balloons taking part this year.

It is also one the UK's biggest outdoor events and 500,000 spectators are expected over the weekend.

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