As the Spring Bank Holiday fast approaches, we’re so excited to share with you the final details of this season’s event extravaganza – Balloons InDurham.
Taking place from Friday 26th May for four consecutive days across Durham City, it’s certainly shaping up to be a must-see event for families looking for something to do in the region to keep the kids entertained and adults in awe during the extended weekend break (and we really can’t wait!).
The event takes to the skies on Friday 26th May at East Durham College Houghall Campus with a mass balloon launch of up to 20 hot air balloons between 6.30pm and 7.30pm. Then, on Saturday 27th May at the same location, if you’re an early riser, you can enjoy a morning mass balloon launch between 6.30am and 7.30am.
Still at Houghall Campus, between 1.00pm and 4.00pm that day, there will be tethered balloons with a compere narrating the event, providing the perfect opportunity for you to pack a picnic and come along to experience the extravaganza. The evening mass launch is then repeated between 6.30pm and 7.30pm, and is followed with a night time stunning balloon glow at Houghall Campus between 9.30pm and 10.15pm.
Don’t know what a balloon glow is? Check out this YouTube video to give you an idea…
But that’s not all! The weekend-long event continues on Sunday 28th May with another early morning mass balloon launch at Houghall Campus between 6.30am and 7.30am. Again, there will be tethered balloons to see between 1.00pm and 4.00pm, with an early evening mass balloon launch from the college between 6.30pm and 7.30pm. In the City centre this day, you can also enjoy tethered balloons at Palace Green between 1.00pm and 3.00pm, with the day’s activities culminating with beautiful illuminated tethers outside of the Cathedral between 8.30pm and 10.00pm.
And as if that wasn’t enough, Balloons InDurham ends with one last early morning mass balloon launch on Monday 29th May, again taking off from East Durham College Houghall Campus, between 6.30am and 7.30am.
We really do have a fantastic weekend of family fun and entertainment lined up. However, it is important to stress that all elements of the programme are subject to weather conditions. If it’s raining or winds pick up, it’s not safe for the hot air balloons to inflate or fly. That would mean that the balloon tethers, balloon glow and illuminated tethers would have to cancelled.
Check out our blog containing some fun facts about hot air balloons, how they fly, and other interesting tit-bits that you may not already know. For example, hot air balloons can only take off when the air pressure is right, that’s why we can only have early morning or evening launches!
We’re urging people to visit our website and social media channels for real-time updates as to whether or not different elements of the programme can go ahead on that given day. If the weather isn’t on our side and we do need to cancel, we’ll make every effort to reschedule that part of the programme to later on during the weekend of the event. Until then, we’re keeping a close eye on the weather forecast over the coming days and hoping for a weekend of splitting sunshine, so we can all get out and about to enjoy everything Balloons InDurham has to offer.
Please remember that all events at East Durham College Houghall Campus as part of Balloons InDurham are subject to a £5 per car per day parking fee, payable in cash on the day to the event’s parking attendants. In return, you’ll be given a day’s parking permit, allowing you to come and go from the site at no extra cost so you can go and explore all that Durham City has to offer, providing there are spaces available when you return. During the weekend of Balloons InDurham, normal car parking fees apply in the City centre, with the usual free on-street parking available on Sunday.
Also, while you will be able to see up to 20 different hot air balloons of all different shapes, colours and sizes at Balloons InDurham, Virgin Balloon Flights will be the only passenger carrying hot air balloon company appearing at the festival. If you’d like to take part in a hot air balloon flight during Balloons InDurham, please visit the Virgin Balloon Flights website and book your experience in advance.
Balloons InDurham really does have the potential to appeal to so many different people and we’re looking forward to welcoming you all to the region over the weekend. For families, there’s so much fun to be had at Houghall College, whereas events in the City provide a great photo opportunity for keen photographers. With a bit of luck, during the mass balloon launches, if we have an easterly breeze, people in the City Centre will be able to watch the balloons rise up over Durham Cathedral and gently float away into the distance, and what a stunning sight that would be!
One thing is for sure, no matter where you across the City and wider region this Spring Bank Holiday Weekend, Balloons InDurham is set to be a feast for the eyes and something you have never seen in the North East ever before. We’re so excited and hope you are too!