In Pictures: Balloons take to skies in colourful start to Midlands Air Festival

The event in Warwickshire lasts all weekend with plenty of visual treats scheduled for onlookers.

Midlands Air Festival
Midlands Air Festival

Hot-air balloons of all shapes, colours and sizes provided a worthy opening spectacle for the Midlands Air Festival on Friday.

The festival is not just a load of hot air, with other forms of flight due to take part in the event in Alcester in Warwickshire during the weekend.

Floating over the Warwickshire countryside, the parade of balloons provided a varied spectacle in every colour of the rainbow to further improve the mood of a nation emerging from lockdown.

A balloon is inflated prior to its flight (Jacob King/PA)
A balloon is inflated prior to its flight (Jacob King/PA)
The burner is used ahead of take-off (Jacob King/PA)
The burner is used ahead of take-off (Jacob King/PA)

A kaleidoscope of colours could be seen in the skies while some unusually-shaped balloons catching the eye.

One resembling a black cat was among the pigeons as it rose from the ground and cast its eye over swathes of the English countryside while an orange dragon-shaped rival also took to the skies, although in this case the fire was not coming from the nostrils but instead from the burner below.

Midlands Air Festival
The balloons come in all shapes and sizes (Jacob King/PA)
Midlands Air Festival
There was a cat among the pigeons over Alcester (Jacob King/PA)
A scaly dragon-like creature bared its teeth as the balloon inflated (Jacob King/PA)
A scaly dragon-like creature bared its teeth as the balloon inflated (Jacob King/PA)
Midlands Air Festival
Balloonists survey the wonders of Alcester (Jacob King/PA)

Ragley Hall in Alcester is the base for the event which runs through the weekend with flying displays scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

Among other spectacles on offer, according to the Midlands Air Festival website, were a Nightfire event with fireworks streaming from aircraft as they perform loops and rolls.

Midlands Air Festival
The dragon chased the motorway traffic (Jacob King/PA)
Midlands Air Festival
The balloons were a colourful spectacle (Jacob King/PA)

As for the balloons, more than 100 were scheduled to attend the event and they will take part in further activities as the weekend progresses.

It is the third year of the family-friendly event.

Midlands Air Festival
The Midlands Air Festival provided is based in Alcester (Jacob King/PA)
Midlands Air Festival
The colours were vibrant (Jacob King/PA)
More than 100 balloons were due at the event (Jacob King/PA)
More than 100 balloons were due at the event (Jacob King/PA)
The aerial pageant runs throughout the weekend (Jacob King/PA)
The aerial pageant runs throughout the weekend (Jacob King/PA)
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