Dozens of colourful balloons of all shapes and sizes scattered across the skyline of Bristol after a mass launch.

Thousands of visitors will descend on the city this weekend as it plays host to the 41st Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.

Europe’s largest ballooning event features four days of displays, with more than 130 colourful hot air balloons attending from across the world.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 2019
The Darth Vader balloon waits to take off (Ben Birchall/PA)

On Thursday morning, a Darth Vader balloon took to the skies above Bristol for the first time following a crowdfunding campaign.

It was taking part in a mass ascent along with 56 other balloons from countries including Japan and Taiwan.

The annual fiesta’s mass ascents usually begin from Friday morning but an extra flight was scheduled this year due to forecast rain and high winds.