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Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic Weekend: Schedule & Parent Tips!

Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic Weekend: Schedule & Parent Tips!

  • May 27-28, 2023
  • Point Mallard Park in Decatur
  • A whole weekend of hot air balloon magic!
colorful hot air balloon lit up in the darkness of night

Looking for a way to kick-off your Memorial Day celebrations? Check out the 45th annual annual Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic where you can walk around and view 50+ hot air balloons up close, watch the balloons race, take a tethered balloon ride, or watch them glow at night. It’s a whole weekend of hot air balloon magic!

The weekend also includes: fireworks, music, a tractor show with a kid’s parade, a classic car show, an arts and crafts show, and food and activity vendors! Between balloon events, families are encouraged to set up for the day and enjoy frisbee games, kite flying, water balloon wars, lunch picnics, etc. So, plan to bring your favorite games, chairs and blankets to enjoy the whole day!

2023 Events at the Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic

SATURDAY – The celebration begins bright and early Saturday, May 27, at 6:00 AM, with the hound and hare balloon race: one balloon flies off the Jubilee field and the others try to follow to see which pilot can get closest to a target put down by the hare balloon.

Saturday’s activities include:

  • Antique and classic auto expo from 8:00a.m. to 2 p.m. behind the Ice Complex.
  • Decatur Art Guild arts and crafts show from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the pavilion.
  • The Bikers for Charity motorcycle show will take place Saturday next to T.C. Almon Recreation Center with registration from 7:30 to 10:00 a.m.
  • The Southland Flywheelers will host an antique tractor show, featuring some of the best restored and maintained tractors in the Southeast, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • A tractor parade follows at 10 a.m., and at 11 a.m. There will be tractor games and a pedal tractor park opens for kids 6 years old and under.
  • An afternoon hot-air balloon flight is set for 5:15 p.m., and at 8:15 p.m. the Balloon Glow is a must see as towering balloons of all colors light up Point Mallard Park.

SUNDAY – Another round of friendly competition between the hot-air balloon pilots is scheduled Sunday, May 28th with the Lynn Layton Chevrolet Key Grab. Balloons should start flying into the Jubilee field starting about 7 a.m. The Decatur Art Guild arts and crafts show reopens from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., offering festivalgoers plenty of time to shop for handmade items in between the balloon activities. Another fun flight is set to launch about 5:00 p.m.

Bands will perform on stage both days at various times and the two-day event concludes with the Alabama Jubilee Fireworks Spectacular at 9:30 p.m.

PLUS… It’s also the opening of Point Mallard Water Park for the season, check out their website for pricing and times. It is a family favorite – we LOVE the wave pool and lazy river!

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If you decide to go to the Alabama Jubilee with kids in tow, you’ll need our Parent Pro-Tips!

Alabama Jubilee Tips for Parents

  • Bring your own chairs, blanket, sunblock and shade. There is only grass, no seats and no shade so keep that in mind.
  • There is just about anything you might want to eat available so come hungry. Bring your own water. There are places that sell it but no water fountains.
  • Balloons fly early in the morning and late afternoon. Morning flights begin at 6:00 AM; Afternoon 6:00 – 7:30 PM. Arrive early to avoid parking problems.
  • There are no balloon events during the daytime so be prepared to otherwise occupy your time if you plan to stay. The balloon field is often the scene of Frisbee games, kite flying, water balloon wars, lunch picnics, etc.. so feel-free to bring and use your play equipment; however be prepared to move out of the way of balloon and official vehicles when flight times arrive.
  • While the balloons are tethered to the ground many of them will sell “rides” for free. Tethered rides require a signed waiver of liability; children 19 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Not all balloons will give tethers; if you are unsure please just ask a crew member.
  • Please remember tethered rides are not fair rides. Balloons are certified aircraft and do run-out of fuel, cannot fly at night, and weather conditions can change causing a stop of balloon operations. Safety comes first.
  • Many pilots will not tether children three and under. The loud burner noise can damage their ears.
  • There is no smoking on the launch field. Balloons use liquid propane as fuel, which is highly flammable.
  • After the sun goes down, there are a LOT of vendors selling the light up toys. Save yourself $20 per kid and buy them glow sticks and a light up toy before you go. The race is early in the morning and the “balloon light show” is after the sun goes down.
  • If you stay for the Balloon Glow it will be LATE (10:00-10:30 or so) before you get out of the park because of the traffic.
  • Dogs and pets are welcome but must be leashed and bagged after. But know that for safety reasons, pets are strongly discouraged due to the loud noise caused by the balloons and the large number of people present.
  • If you want to bring a sun-shelter you may, however NO pop-up tailgating tents since they take-up too much room and are hard to move.
  • Don’t forget your fully-charged camera with available memory – it’s always bummer to have a dead camera or full memory if the perfect shot arrives.
  • Some pilots may ask bystanders to help with the balloons but unless you are asked please do not touch the equipment.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings; DO NOT walk-over ropes, even if laying on the ground, please walk-around. Winds change and shift tether ropes can be very dangerous.
  • During the Alabama Jubilee, Point Mallard Park is a “No-Drone Zone” according to FAA regulations.

2023 Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic

When: May 27-28, 2023
Where: Point Mallard Park, Decatur AL (map)
Cost: FREE
Event Schedule | Facebook Page

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