Wild weather grounds Northampton Balloon Festival for first time in 27 years

Wet and windy weather meant flights were grounded at Northampton Balloon Festival for the first time in its 27-year history.

Monday, 22nd August 2016, 12:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:29 pm
Wet and windy weather meant all flights had to be grounded at Northampton Balloon Festival this year. h2Uj2C4xnV2Z8aCQyucz

The annual event at Billing Aquadrome was due to see 42 balloons take to the skies for six flights between Friday and Sunday.

But not one crew managed to make it off the ground after blustery conditions and heavy showers hit Northamptonshire during the three days.

Co-organiser Wendy Rousell said she was disappointed, as so much planning had gone into the event.

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“All weekend we kept thinking the weather would clear, but it just never did,” she said.

“This time last year we were recovering having done five out of the six flights.

“But this was the first time in 27 years we weren’t able to fly at all.”

Mrs Rousell said there is no chance of staging a belated balloon flight later in the year, as it has taken the past 12 months to get 42 crews together for the weekend just gone.

However, she said spectators have been sympathetic to the organising committee’s plight.

“We had a lot of good comments from people on Facebook and Twitter,” she said.

“I think people were really understanding when it came to the weather conditions and were glad we kept them informed that we weren’t going to be flying, via social media.”

While slightly thinned, Billing Aquadrome still enjoyed a fair crowd over the weekend, many of whom enjoyed the range of food stalls, rides, games and an American car show.

On Saturday night the organisers also managed to stage a “balloon glow”, during which 26 balloon crews fired their burners in time with music.