Dozens of hot air balloons will float across the London skies one Sunday morning this summer, for the Lord Mayor's Hot Air Balloon Regatta.
The event, run by Exclusive Ballooning, is a charity fundraiser in support of the Lord Mayor's Appeal, with corporate partners paying to have balloons decked out in their livery joining the floating parade. In the past, orbs in the shape of wellingtons, lions and trophies have been airborne, along with dozens of more traditional balloons in all manner of colours and designs.
The Lord Mayor's Hot Air Balloon Regatta is an annual event... well, in theory it is. In 2020, it was cancelled due to Covid-19, and though it was due to go ahead in 2021, bad weather scuppered it. Back in 2019, though, the regatta went ahead, with 46 hot air balloons taking off from Battersea Park early one Sunday morning.
The weather is the crucial factor — conditions such as wind and rain are taken into account before it's declared safe for the balloons to fly. As a result, several dates are pencilled in each year, to give the event the most chance of going ahead. The 2022 dates are:
- Sunday 22 May Didn't happen due to reduced wind speeds.
- Sunday 5 June Didn't happen due to unstable and wet weather conditions.
- Sunday 12 June Didn't happen due to the wind direction.
- Sunday 19 June
Oh, and one more thing. You'll need to set your alarm preeeetty early if you want to see the regatta. Balloons take off from Battersea Park around 5.30am. Ouch. However, the spectacle of dozens of colourful balloons gliding gracefully across across the summer sky by sunrise makes it sooo worthwhile.
The Lord Mayor's Hot Air Balloon Regatta 2022 takes place 22 May/5 June/12 June/19 June (delete as appropriate).