Well, it turns out that second third fourth time wasn’t the charm after all. The Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta has once again been stood down, with this weekend’s date (October 1) officially cancelled. But there is one last chance that it could still yet be revived! Usually planned (emphasis on this word) to take place around June each year, the date has now shifted to an uncharacteristically time in the twilight months of the year.
All of 2023’s proposed dates were put paid to by the more characteristic bad weather but now, for the first time, an autumnal set of new dates have been proposed – October 1 and October 22. And the first of those dates has now been cancelled. So our final hope for the event to take place is October 22.
After the 2021 and 2022 events all fell to the same fate, which came after a pandemic-induced cancellation in 2020, it was beginning to feel like we’d never see the flock of balloons again, but we’ve got our fingers crossed that the month of October brings some more luck up in the sky.
For 2023, there were originally three potential dates for a sky full of spectacular hot air balloons. As each date approached, however, there was a steady succession of cancellations. May 14 and May 21 and the final play of July 2 were all blocked.
We never quite lost hope, and now the absolute final Hail Mary pass is being prepared, with the event now poised to take place in late October. We may get to see the glorious sight of hot air balloons floating out over London after all. Let’s hope Mother Nature has mercy on us this time, eh?
The flight of the hot air balloons
When the hot air balloon regatta actually does take place, the whole thing kicks off pretty damn early, with a 5:30am set-off from Battersea Park. Hot air balloon fans would need to set a very early alarm to make sure they don’t miss a second. The official Lord Mayor’s Appeal hot air balloon leads the way, carrying both the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress. You’d 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!
Up to fifty balloons take to the skies each year (when it actually happens), while the event raises funds and awareness for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. You can keep an eye on the updates page for the procession here.
All but one of the possible dates for the Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta 2023 have been cancelled. There is now one chance left, with a date of October 22. Keep an eye on their socials to be kept up to date!
Also published on Medium.