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Last Updated: Friday August 10 2007 14:27 GMT

In pictures: Bristol balloon festival

Bristol balloon festival

One of the biggest balloon festivals in Europe is taking place in Bristol in the west of England, with up to 500,000 visitors expected.

Bristol balloon festival

Hundreds of balloons are taking off every day for each of the four days of the festival.

Bristol balloon festival

There are traditional mass launches - called ascents - first thing in the morning and right at the end of the day.

Bristol balloon festival

These balloons are taking off a bit later in the day in the dusk mass ascent.

Bristol balloon festival

There were worries that the weather would make it difficult, but things have improved with the recent sunshine.

Bristol balloon festival

This balloon is passing in front of the Clifton Suspension Bridge - a famous landmark in Bristol.

Bristol balloon festival

There are lots of preparations that the balloonists have to go through before they take off.

Bristol balloon festival

In 2000, a record 156 balloons took off at once as part of a mass ascent.



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