Thousands gather for Switzerland’s annual hot air balloon festival

CHATEAU D’OEX, SWITZERLAND (JANUARY 27, 2018) (REUTERS) – The annual Chateau d’Oex hot air balloon festival kicked off on Saturday (January 27) in the Swiss city for its 40th edition, bringing together more than 70 pilots from 15 different countries.

Despite thick fog delaying the start until midday, between 20,000 and 40,000 people are expected to attend the nine-day festival, according to the organisers.

The festival was set up in 1979 and has become an institution in the Swiss region of Valais with pilots from all over the world attending each year to be part of the colourful fleet.

The festival also features air displays, expositions, a night show and activities for families.