We’ll have to keep our fingers crossed for this one. The The Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta, organised by Exclusive Ballooning, takes place every June. However, since it remains at the mercy of the British weather, it can often be delayed or cancelled at short notice. 2021 saw all of the dates sadly cancelled, with the skies not being in our favour, and 2020 didn’t fare much better, though it was lockdown that stood in the way. Nonetheless, there’s chance yet to see a sky full of spectacular hot air balloons this year, with three of the regatta’s four announced dates still to come. Surely one, just one, of these days will be in our favour, right?
The four dates proposed for this year are May 22, June 5, June 12, and June 19. With one date already sadly cancelled – adverse wind conditions cancelling the May 22 date – there’s still three chances left in the year. And as it is supposed to be summer, there’s a pretty good chance it should go ahead on one of these occasions. We’re holding out hope for the June 5 date, just days after the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Imagine the sight, decorations throughout the streets, and bunting still dotting the city walls – and the impressive sight of a mass of hot air balloons of all shapes and sizes taking to the sky.
Up to fifty balloons take to the skies each year, while the event raises funds and awareness for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. Indeed, the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress head the procession in the leading balloon – which seems like a particularly risky canary in the coalmine strategy, if you ask me. You can keep an eye on the updates page for the procession here.
The whole thing is due to kick off pretty damn early, with a 5:30am set-off from Battersea Park. So hot air balloon fans will want to set an alarm to make sure they don’t miss a second. You might spot them gliding over Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, and the London Eye – and it does look bloody lovely when it actually happens!
Also published on Medium.