Hot Air Balloon Jubilee Classic Draws Tens of Thousands to Decatur

DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Fun and balloons are in the air this weekend at Point Mallard Park. It’s the culmination of 45 years of dedication to a hobby that put Decatur on the map.

“We love what we do. We love what it brings to Decatur and the joy on the faces of the kids,” Ramona Evans, vice chair of the Alabama Hot Air Balloon Jubilee Classic Committee, told News 19. “Not just kids, but kids of all ages. It’s worth it.”

It’s the oldest hot air balloon festival in the state, one of the oldest in the Southeast, and definitely one of Morgan County’s top attractions.

As well as checking out dozens of food vendors to inflate your stomach this weekend, Evans said Jubilee gives the community a chance to see both hot air balloon races and slow, colorful displays of dozens of balloons. from all over the country.

Visitors can also give back with blood donations to LifeSouth and a raffle in memory of a valued event volunteer.

“Lee Johnson was a member of the committee for over 40 years. He was here almost from the start,” Evans explained. “Lee passed away last year and we are hosting – in his honor – a fundraiser for Hands Across Decatur. The winner of the raffle wins a new refrigerator.

Evans believes that even with the difficulties of expensive travel costs this year and the pandemic of previous years, the uniqueness of the event is enough to continue to grow.

“When all the emphasis was on ‘wear your face off, keep your distance,’ everything, we needed something that said, ‘this is who we are,’ and that we’re proud of our city and we want to ensure everyone lets have a good time.

Parking for the Jubilee is free and the festivities last until dark on Saturday and Sunday, with fireworks at 9:30 p.m. to conclude the second night.


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