Up up and away as Hot Air Balloon Festival heads to Durham

Balloons InDurham takes place later this month
Balloons InDurham takes place later this month
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A Hot Air Balloon Festival is set to take off this month.

Dozens of hot air balloons are set to soar over the Durham skyline from Friday, May 26 to Monday, May 29 for a series of dawn and dusk flights launched from East Durham College’s Houghall Campus.

The event has been organised by Durham Business Improvement District (Durham BID) and follows the success of its recent Fire & Ice InDurham festival which attracted thousands of people.

Adam Deathe, business engagement manager at Durham BID, said: “We’re delighted to share the news that this brand-new event will be the centre piece of activities for people far and wide to enjoy in Durham this summer.

“Early risers are expected to be able to see a whole range of hot air balloons rise above the city from their launch point at East Durham College’s Houghall Campus each morning of the festival at dawn.”

Highlights are set to include a Balloon Glow which will see illuminated balloons rise into the sky from 9.30pm on Saturday, May 27.

Though the plans are in place, some of the events are open to the elements and could be subject to change at short notice.

Scott Hillary of AH Events, the production company behind Balloons InDurham, explained: “We’re hoping that we’re blessed with fine weather over the course of the festival weekend.

“As you can imagine, by the very nature of hot air balloons, we’re at the mercy of the elements. Even as much as 8mph winds can scupper plans and prevent a flight from taking off, so we’re building a degree of flexibility into the itinerary. If the Balloon Glow can’t happen on the Saturday evening, we’ll make every effort to make sure it happens the following night, weather permitting.

“That said, as the final plans for Balloons InDurham are announced and over the course of the festival weekend, we’d urge people to keep checking Durham BID’s website and social media channels for up-to-the-minute event updates.”

Suzanne Duncan, principal and chief executive of East Durham College, said: “East Durham College’s Houghall Campus is delighted to host and support this landmark event.

“The college is acutely aware of the importance of the tourism industry to Durham City, and the wider region, and this event is a fantastic way to help attract visitors to our beautiful region.”