Eyes to the skies for Knaresborough balloon spectacular

Knaresborough hot air balloon rally
Knaresborough hot air balloon rally

The skies above Knaresborough will be filled with hot air balloons this weekend - if the weather improves.

Coun Anne Jones (Lib Dem Scriven Park) has organised the hot air balloon festival as part of the 100 day arts and culture festival for the Tour de France.

Coun Jones has invited two groups of the British Balloon and Airship Club to fly above Knaresborough from land just outside the town.

The man responsible for bringing the Tour de France to Yorkshire, chef executive of Welcome to Yorkshire Gary Verity has been invited to take flight about Knaresborough, as has 83-year-old cycling legend, Brian Robinson.

However Coun Jones admits she might not be joining them in a hot air balloon. She said: “I am still not sure, I am a little bit afraid of heights.

“It is going to look spectacular with all the balloons in the sky so maybe I’ll just stay safely on ground level and enjoy the view.”

Over one dozen hot air balloons will launch from land outside the town of Knaresborough and fly high above the town.

Club members will fly, weather permitting, on Friday evening, May 30 at around 7pm, Saturday morning, May 31 at around 7am, Saturday evening at around 7pm and Sunday morning, June 1 at 7am.

Hot-Air balloons cannot fly during the heat of the day nor in wet or windy weather.

Coun Jones said: “This flight programme should guarantee that most residents and welcome visitors to the area will have the opportunity to witness this delightful and colourful event.”

She explained the connection to hot air balloons and the Tour de France is down the fact that the first ever manned hot balloon flight was created by the French Montgolfier Brothersin 1782.

During the rally a few hare and hounds flights are planned - the hare will take off first, followed by the other balloons a short time later. Watch out for the lead balloon, which will be yellow.

Coun Jones added: “Some of the balloons are plain colours, some have bright artwork. All are registered aircraft with qualified pilots and carry appropriate Insurance cover.”