Page last updated at 15:02 GMT, Thursday, 19 August 2010 16:02 UK

World's 'biggest' hot-air balloon

world's biggest hot-air balloon of its kind
The world's biggest hot-air balloon with a glass bottom.

The Northampton Balloon Festival is back and it is bigger than ever.

The festival will feature a hot-air balloon claimed to be the biggest of its kind in the world.

A 61ft (18.8m)tall dragon shaped balloon with a glass basket will make an appearance at the Billing Aquadrome event.

This is the second time the festival will be held at the aquadrome after Northampton Borough Council announced in 2009 they were no longer staging it.

The council struggled to make money at previous events but the owners of Billing Aquadrome managed to save it.

Billing Aquadrome's events organiser Karen Joseph said: "The balloon festival has attracted hundreds of thousands of people to the area in recent times.

"We are really pleased to keep this Northampton tradition alive."

The Balloon festival takes place 20-22 August weather permitting and the balloons will take off at 0600 BST and 1800 BST everyday over the three day event.

At 2100 BST on Saturday evening, balloons will be glowing as they turn into giant lanterns pulsating to music.

"With investments being made into Billing Aquadrome, it is clear that the owners take their responsibilities as custodians of this important part of Northamptonshire's tourism economy seriously," said Ms Joseph.

Timetable (Weather permitting)

Friday 20th August - all times BST

0600 Morning flight

1400 - 1600 Tethering plus questions and answers from the pilots and crews

1800 Evening flight

Saturday 21st August

0600am Morning flight

1400 - 1600 Tethering plus questions and answers from the pilots and crews

1800 Evening flight

2100 Spectacular night glow

Sunday 22nd August

0600 Morning flight

1400 - 1600 Tethering plus questions and answers from the pilots and crews

1800 Evening flight - limited numbers - local pilots and crews only

Looking ahead to the weekend current weather reports does look as if it's going to be a wet event so do dress appropriately.

For more information on the balloon festival visit: www.thenorthamptonballoonfestival.co.uk



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