Looking for a way to kick off your Memorial Day celebrations? Discover the 44th edition Annual Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic where you can walk and see over 50 hot air balloons up close, watch the balloon race, take a tethered balloon ride or watch them glow at night. It’s a weekend of magic in a hot air balloon!
The weekend also includes: fireworks, music, a tractor show with a children’s parade, a classic car show, a craft show, and food and activity vendors! In between balloon events, families are encouraged to settle in for the day and enjoy frisbee games, kite flying, water balloon wars, lunch picnics, and more. So, plan to bring your favorite games, chairs and blankets to enjoy the day!
2021 Events at the Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic
SATURDAY – The celebration starts early on Saturday, May 29, at 6:15 a.m., with the dog-and-hare hot air balloon race: a balloon flies off the Jubilee grounds and the others try to follow to see which pilot can get close to a target put down by the hare balloon.
Saturday activities include a vintage and classic car show from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. behind the ice complex and the popular Decatur Art Guild arts and crafts show from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the pavilion . The Sons of Liberty Bike Show will take place on Saturday next to the TC Almon Leisure Center with registration from 7:30 am-10:00am. The Southland Flywheelers will host a Vintage Tractor Show, showcasing some of the best restored and maintained tractors in the Southeast, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. A tractor parade will follow at 10 a.m., and at 11 a.m. there will be tractor games and a pedal tractor park will be open for children 6 and under. An afternoon hot air balloon flight is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. and at 8:15 p.m. Balloon Glow is a must-see as towering balloons of all colors light up Point Mallard Park.
SUNDAY – Another round of friendly competition between hot air balloon pilots is scheduled for Sunday May 30. Balloons are expected to start flying in Jubilee Field from 7 a.m. The Decatur Art Guild Arts and Crafts Fair reopens from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., providing festival-goers with ample time to shop for handmade items between balloon activities. Another fun flight is expected to be launched around 6:30 p.m.
Groups will perform on stage on both days at 7:00 p.m. and the two-day event will conclude with the Alabama Jubilee Fireworks Show at 9:30 p.m.
MORE… It’s also the opening of the Point Mallard water park for the season, discover their website for prices and times. It’s a family favorite – we love the wave pool and lazy river!
If you decide to go to Alabama Jubilee with kids in tow, you’ll need our parenting tips!
Alabama Jubilee Tips for Parents
- Bring your own chairs, blanket, sunscreen, and shade. There is only grass, no seats and no shade, so keep that in mind.
- There is pretty much everything you might want to eat, so come hungry. Bring your own water. There are places that sell it but no water fountains.
- Balloons fly in the early morning and late afternoon. Morning flights start at 6:00 am; Afternoon from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Get there early to avoid parking issues.
- There are no balloon events during the day, so be prepared to occupy your time differently if you plan to stay. The balloon field is often the scene of frisbee games, kite flying, water balloon wars, lunch picnics, and more. so don’t hesitate to bring and use your play equipment; however, be prepared to steer clear of hot air balloons and official vehicles when flight times arrive.
- While the balloons are tied to the ground, many of them will sell “rides” for free. Captive journeys require a signed liability waiver; children 19 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Not all balloons will attach; if you are unsure, please just ask a crew member.
- Remember, captive rides are not fair. Balloons are certified aircraft and run out of fuel, cannot fly at night, and weather conditions may change causing balloon operations to stop. Safety comes first.
- Many pilots will not tie up children three and under. The loud noise of the burner can damage their ears.
- Smoking is prohibited on the launching area. Balloons use liquid propane as fuel, which is highly flammable.
- After the sun goes down there are LOTS of vendors selling the light up toys. Save $ 20 per kid and buy them some glow sticks and a glow toy before you go. The race takes place early in the morning and the “balloon light show” is after sunset.
- If you stay for Balloon Glow, it will be LATE (10: 00-10: 30 or so) before you exit the park due to traffic.
- Dogs and pets are welcome but must be kept on a leash and bagged afterwards. But be aware that for safety reasons, animals 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 can, however, NOT retractable tailgating tents as they take up too much space and are difficult to move.
- Don’t forget your camera fully loaded with available memory – it’s always disappointing to have a dead camera or full memory if the perfect shot arrives.
- Some pilots may ask spectators to help you with the balloons, but unless instructed to do so, please do not touch the equipment.
- Be aware of your surroundings; DO NOT step on the ropes, even if they are laid on the ground, please go around. The winds change and the tether ropes can be very dangerous.
- During the Alabama Jubilee, Point Mallard Park is a “drone-free zone” under FAA regulations.
2021 Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic