The Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic is a one-of-a-kind event that takes place every year in Decatur, Alabama, at Point Mallard Park. The event has been held annually since 1978 and has become one of the most popular hot air balloon festivals in the country, attracting thousands of visitors from near and far.
The history of the festival traces back to a few years prior to 1978 when the City of Decatur purchased its own hot air balloon. Three pilots were trained to fly the city’s balloon, and it wasn’t long before those pilots united with other nearby balloonists to bring the energy and competition of a balloon rally to Decatur. Today, the City of Decatur has been designated as the “Ballooning Capital of Alabama!”
At the festival, you can witness the spectacle of hot air balloons taking flight against the backdrop of the beautiful Alabama skies. With dozens of colorful hot air balloons taking to the sky, it is a breathtaking view that is not to be missed. The sight can be seen from the Point Mallard field as well as from above the surrounding areas.
The Hare & Hound and Lynn Layton Key Grab add a spirit of competition to the festival as balloon pilots complete competition tasks. In the Hare & Hound, balloons compete to see who can drop a marker closest to a target on the ground, while in the Key Grab, they navigate away from and back to a predetermined location, attempting to grab a ring from the top of a tall pole.
In the evening, balloons are tethered to the ground and lit up in a stunning visual display. Plus, a fireworks show ends the festival with a bang!
The event offers even more to enjoy beyond balloon flights, too. With live music, food vendors, arts and crafts, and inflatables for kids, there is something for everyone. There are even tethered balloon rides available for those who want to experience the thrill of being up in the air without actually leaving the ground.
The 2023 Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic will take place over Memorial Day weekend on May 27 and May 28. If you’re planning to attend the Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic, remember that the event is held outdoors, so be sure to dress appropriately for the weather. Additionally, know that parking can be tricky, so plan to arrive early and prepare for crowds.
Overall, the Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic is a fun and exciting event for visitors of all ages. With its stunning visual displays, live entertainment, and variety of activities, it’s no wonder why the festival has become such a popular event to kick off summer in Alabama and beyond.