50 hot air balloons taking to the skies above York, a live music stage featuring some of the UK’s best tribute acts, arena stunt show and falconry display and so much more will help make York’s biggest family-friendly weekend from 27 – 29 September, when York Balloon Fiesta returns with more free things to do than ever before.

York Balloon Fiesta, 27-29 September 2019

“Even before we think about the balloons, the activities we’ve got planned for this year’s Fiesta are fantastic – and we’re grateful to our sponsor TalkTalk Ultra Fibre Optic for their support which enables us to offer so much entertainment, completely free of charge,” comments the new event organiser, John Lowery of York-based Events & Attractions.  “Our stage, hosted by Minster FM, will feature acts throughout the weekend to appeal to young and old alike, from Freddie Mercury and Abba tributes on Friday evening to CBeebies’ Mr Bloom appearing with his band on Sunday afternoon – this is a real feel-good event!”

York Balloon Fiesta

Of course, the balloons will be the stars of the show.  Subject to favourable weather conditions, flights will take place from 4.45pm on Friday, 7.00am and 4.45pm on Saturday and 7.00am on Sunday morning.  All times are subject to change, according to prevailing weather conditions, with regular updates on social media in the event of changes or cancellations.  On Friday evening, tethered balloons will light up the night from 9pm with a choreographed ‘Night Glow’, and from 8.40pm on Saturday, with a spectacular free firework and laser show at 9.50pm on Saturday evening.


A new highlight for 2019 will be The Labyrinth Challenge, which is the world’s longest continuous inflatable assault course.  The inflatable offers over 1000ft of bouncy fun spread across five unique themed zones – some race for the fastest time possible whilst others enjoy the inflatable environment at a more leisurely pace.  Admission to the Labyrinth Challenge is just £5 per person, with the activity available throughout the festival.


Returning this year will be the popular funfair, including new rides like the spinning and bouncing Jumper Jumper ride, giant wheel, fun house, dodgems, waltzer and many more.  A host of food and drink outlets will cater for every diet, enabling families to spend as much time as they like at the event.


For 2019, an extensive new traffic management programme has been introduced to minimise congestion around the city.  On-site parking will be available (£10/vehicle) but organisers are working with public transport providers to minimise vehicular traffic.  “We’re expecting up to 40,000 people to attend across the three days, so would encourage visitors to use the Park & Ride and bus services – or indeed, walk or cycle wherever possible, but we have worked closely with traffic experts and City of York Council on a traffic management plan that should keep everyone moving on all three days,” adds John.  “We’ll also be sharing the latest traffic information through Minster FM and on our social media channels.”


A full programme of events is available online at www.yorkballoonfiesta.co.uk with regular updates in the run-up and throughout the festival on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Also have a look at the other great festivals in York.

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