Hot Air Balloon Affair

Keeping with my theme of “things to do in the North when it’s cold outside,” I couldn’t let winter slip by without mentioning the Hudson Hot Air Affair, a celebration of hot air ballooning in Hudson, Wisconsin. Held in early February, the event brings ballooners from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, the Dakotas, Illinois and Nebraska. Thousands of spectators flock to the event for family activities, a pancake breakfast, a silent auction, and to an open field to watch the balloons launch into the winter sky each morning. One of the more popular events is “Moon Glow,” when balloonists fire up their balloons in the twilight hours, which is what I caught this weekend.

58 thoughts on “Hot Air Balloon Affair

  1. How I would love to be up in one of those!
    We went to see a hot air balloon fest once and they were taking up people who won a lucky draw. 😦
    Congrats on being FP !

  2. Hi
    Awesome post. The contrast of all the rich colours against the backdrop of a snowy white background is grand to say the least. Judging by the way everyone is clad it must be bitingly cold.

  3. wow. like a bonfire of balloons! we’ve just come from a hot air balloon festival too here in the philippines. but no twilight flights. this is awesome

  4. Pingback: Hot Air Balloon Affair (via Travel Snapshots) « View From The Doghouse

  5. We just had the annual 16th Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta last weekend. Your pictures made me regret that i didn’t come! πŸ˜₯

  6. Hey,

    I loved the picture, especially the little kids in there…Stunning!!!
    Freedom, fire, and smiles drawn on innocent faces, How beautiful!!

  7. I love the balloons, they are so pretty. We have an area out by us that when the season comes, we get to see a few here and there. I might have to go there and see them in person, one day.

  8. I was just thinking about our summer hot air balloon festival today! Great pics!!! we were that close to the balloons this summer- its really cool. Very pretty at night which is something we didn’t get to see- thanks for posting;)

  9. WOW! The pictures are amazing!
    I find the bright and vivid colors and designs on the balloons a very stark contrast to the night sky behind it. And, I bet it must have looked amazing when they all rose up in the sky!
    Sadly enough, I live in LA, so we don’t have much winter excitement here. Truly, winter over here just feels like a toned down version of summer, though every now and then the temperatures drop suddenly to what is more than freezing to us!
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed, and again, great pics!
    Ashley, aka TheEverydayMuser

  10. I love hot air balloon festivals. There is one down in Albuquerque, NM that is pretty amazng. I haven’t been there in years, but your pictures make me want to plan a trip! Congrats on FP!

  11. A-mazing. My only experience of heated flying objects involved chinese lanterns at a wedding. Unfortunately the wind blew them into a tree, which subsequently caught fire. Very entertaining, but this event looks far more productive (and, er…safe). Good work.

    • I think that is a great excuse for a road trip. Thank you for your comments, and thanks for the tip! πŸ™‚

  12. Nice photos. The balloons didn’t launch at the Saturday afternoon time, but they did have the football inflated.

  13. Sadly, today is the last day. The balloons didn’t take off this morning either, do to the directional winds. Mark it for next year!

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