Hudson Hot Air Affair : : 2023 Schedule

Hudson Lakefont Park Lights

Now thru Sunday, February 10: BUENA VISTA: A STROLL in the PARK at Lakefront Park in downtown Hudson. Celebrate the magic of thousands of lights along the St. Croix River.  Historic downtown is steeped in winter charm, ready for you to explore both indoor and outdoor. Learn more.    

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Eat Shop Play

Starts Saturday, January 20th at 10am and runs through February 20that Hudson and area businesses thru Feb. 20th. The unique shops, fun destinations and outstanding restaurants of Hudson and the surrounding area invite you to check out their winter offerings. Look for special promotions and events ideal for your winter outings in the Hudson area. Visit: Abigail Page Antiques, All Things Sheared at Eagle Eye FarmAngel’s Pet World, BackRoom Vintage/BackRoom Vintage-HOME, Bennett’s Chop & RailhouseBig Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin, Black Rooster BistroBuddy’s BakeryChapter2BooksDairy Queen-Hudson, Dick’s Bar & Grill, Ember & Bean Roasting Company, Erbert & Gerbert’s Sandwich ShopGrand Fête, Hudson Bowling Center/Plaza LoungeHudson Flower Shop, Hudson United Methodist Church, Jonesy’s Local Bar & Grill, Knoke’s Chocolates & Nuts, kudos, La Rue Marche, Lucky Guys Distillery, Old Southern BBQ, Post-American Eatery, Seasons Gallery, The 715The Bees KneesThe Cellars Wine & Spirits, The EmpouriumThe Purple Tree, Urban Olive & Vine and Ziggy’s Live Music, Bar & Restaurant

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Taste of HHAASaturday, January 28, 5:30-10:30pm: “Experience the Magic” TASTE of HOT AIR AFFAIR at White Eagle Golf Club, 316 White Eagle Trail. Sponsored by the Hudson Lions Club. Enjoy spirits, wine, beer tastings, along with hot appetizers, cheese and sweets. Live music by Boondoggle, silent auction, wine pull and more. Photo booth by Photog Entertainment with “Experience the Magic” backdrops included in ticket price. VIP tickets: $50 (with exclusive VIP specials from 5:30-6:30pm). Regular tickets: $30 from 6:30-10:30pm (Early bird presale $25). Tickets are available online at the Lions Club’s Square Site or may be purchased at WESTconsin Credit Union, 1601 Maxwell Dr, Hudson. View a flyer with more details.

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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2023

Friday-Sunday, Feb 3-5: Hudson Hot Air Affair Bloody Mary Crawl. All new this year—the first ever Hudson Hot Air Affair Bloody Mary Crawl, featuring ten participating Eat•Shop•Play eating and drinking destinations. Vote for your favorite Bloody Mary during Hot Air Affair weekend (Feb 3-5) and you could win a prize of Tonka Vodka from The Cellars Wines & Spirits and Miss Mary’s Bloody Mary Mix from Grand Fête.

Special prices on Bloody Marys all weekend plus non-alcoholic and zero-alcohol Bloody Mary Mocktails available too!

Visit these participating Hudson eating and drinking establishments and vote for your favorite Hot Air Affair Bloody Mary:

HHAA Bloody Mary CrawlBennett’s Chop & Railhouse
Black Rooster Bistro
Dick’s Bar & Grill
Grand Fête
Hudson Bowling Center/Plaza Lounge
Jonesy’s Local Bar & Grill
Lucky Guys Distilling
Post American Eatery
The Empourium
Ziggy’s Live Music, Bar & Restaurant

Watch for link for voting—coming soon.

Voting begins on Friday, 2/3/23 at 12:00am and ends on Sunday, 2/5/23 at 11:59 pm.
No limit on number of times crawlers can vote. Must be 21 or older to participate.

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BALLOONING EDUCATION PROGRAM. Sponsored by Spring Creek Dental, The UPS Store-Hudson and Viking Electronics.  Learn how the beautiful hot air balloons fly in the Hot Air Affair printable educational booklet.  View the downloadable educational booklet here.

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HOT AIR AFFAIR  GEOCACHING OUTDOOR FUN throughout the Hudson area. Go to www.geocaching.com for coordinates of winter friendly geocaches in Hudson and the St. Croix Valley. NEW geocaches hidden in the immediate Hudson area.
BIRD WATCHING—Look for trumpeter swans and eagles on the St. Croix River.
Skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling nearby.

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10 am:Eat Shop Play The unique shops, fun destinations and outstanding restaurants of Hudson and the surrounding area invite you to check out their winter offerings.  Look for special promotions and events ideal for your winter outings in the Hudson area.  Visit: Abigail Page Antiques, All Things Sheared at Eagle Eye FarmAngel’s Pet World, BackRoom Vintage/BackRoom Vintage-HOME, Bennett’s Chop & RailhouseBig Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin, Black Rooster BistroBuddy’s BakeryChapter2BooksDairy Queen-Hudson, Dick’s Bar & Grill, Ember & Bean Roasting Company, Erbert & Gerbert’s Sandwich ShopGrand Fête, Hudson Bowling Center/Plaza LoungeHudson Flower Shop, Hudson United Methodist Church, Jonesy’s Local Bar & Grill, Knoke’s Chocolates & Nuts, kudos, La Rue Marche, Lucky Guys Distillery, Old Southern BBQ, Post-American Eatery, Seasons Gallery, The 715The Bees KneesThe Cellars Wine & Spirits, The EmpouriumThe Purple Tree, Urban Olive & Vine and Ziggy’s Live Music, Bar & Restaurant

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7pm: TORCHLIGHT “EXPERIENCE the MAGIC” PARADE.  Featuring prizes for the best overall parade unit, the best unit by hot air balloonist, the best “Experience the Magic” themed unit and the best kazoo marching band. Hot air balloon pilots and crews displaying blasts of fire. Parade participants line up at 6pm at Wells Fargo Bank parking lot and parade travels down Second Street. Please call 715-828-7200, 715-386-8332 or 715-575-1864 by noon on February 3rd to register. Parade sponsors include Bee Healthy Family Chiropractic CareCulver’s-Hudson, Gavic Construction, Hudson Bowling Center/Plaza Lounge, Jonesy’s Local Bar & Grill, The Oral Surgery Center, The SubhouseValley Agencies, Inc., Valley Companies, Valley OrthodonticsViking Electronics and Women from Milwaukee.

No Parking SignTorchlight Parade Parking Notice: Before you attend the Friday night Torchlight Parade please note that there will be NO PARKING in four spaces in front of the Opera House building, NO PARKING in the city lots next to and behind Wells Fargo, and NO PARKING on 3rd Street, from Vine Street to Locust Street. Please arrive early and dress warm!

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FIREWORKS DISPLAY, immediately after parade over Lakefront Park and the St. Croix River.  Sponsored by Andersen Corporation.  Grand finale to downtown festivities.

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SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2023

7am-noon: PANCAKE BREAKFAST at the MASONIC LODGE, at 209 Locust Street. Sponsored by Masonic Lodge #56. Includes pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, fruit, beverages. $10 adults, $5 children under 12. Takeout available!

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7:15am-8pm: FOOD DRIVE for the HUDSON FOOD CUPBOARD at E.P. Rock school grounds, 340 13th Street S. Sponsored by Integrity Cleaners. Pop in to donate non-perishable items or cash donations for the Hudson Food Cupboard.

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7:35am: BALLOON LAUNCH, E.P. Rock school grounds, 340 13th Street South. 30+ hot air balloons in mass ascension flight. Event highlight! Inflations and flights are weather dependent.    Concessions and souvenirs available.

No Parking SignEP Rock School Parking Notice: Please be prepared for a change of parking around EP Rock School on 13th Street, Frear Street, Hoyt Street, Summer Street, and Nye Street. This year there will only be PARKING ON ONE SIDE OF THE STREET AROUND THE EP ROCK SCHOOL GROUNDS. The City of Hudson has made this change to allow for emergency vehicles and safer walking to and from the event. There will be parking signs posted. Please be courteous, DO NOT block driveways and follow all signage to make this a great event for everyone.

Hot air balloon flying is never guaranteed. Balloon rallies like Hudson Hot Air Affair require good weather conditions for balloon flights. If the balloons are not able to fly, please remember there is so much more to do in Hudson. Enjoy the other Hudson Hot Air Affair events or check out the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce website for Hudson Activities or Local Attractions.

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2023 HHAA Sweatshirt8am-8pm: MARKETPLACE and CRAFT FAIR at E.P. Rock school. Craft and souvenir selection with special winter apparel, ballooning and Hot Air Affair emphasis. Visit the Hot Air Affair booth for souvenirs, Hot Air Affair apparel and collectibles. Check out the new Hot Air Affair sweatshirts and T-shirts!

Hot food and drinks available in cafeteria by local non-profit groups.

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8am: WARM UP STATION, sponsored by YMCA in Hudson. Visit the E.P. Rock school cafeteria throughout the day for a warm-up break, refreshments available to purchase. Meet local geocachers and learn about geocaching. New this Year—visit the photo booth to have your commemorative “Experience the Magic” photo taken by Photog Entertainment ($5).

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9am-1pm: Hot Air Affair Bloody Mary Garnish Contest at Grand Fête, 512 2nd Street. With $3 Bloody Mary Mocktails available for purchase.

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12:30-3:30pm: Angry Tomato Salsa Sampling at Grand Fête, 512 2nd Street. Local owner Dana Steenburg will be on hand sampling his fabulous salsa varieties.

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10:00 am:Eat Shop Play The unique shops, fun destinations and outstanding restaurants of Hudson and the surrounding area invite you to check out their winter offerings. Look for special promotions and events ideal for your winter outings in the Hudson area. Visit: Abigail Page Antiques, All Things Sheared at Eagle Eye FarmAngel’s Pet World, BackRoom Vintage/BackRoom Vintage-HOME, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin, Black Rooster BistroBuddy’s BakeryChapter2BooksDairy Queen-Hudson, Dick’s Bar & Grill, Ember & Bean Roasting Company, Erbert & Gerbert’s Sandwich ShopGrand Fête, Hudson Bowling Center/Plaza LoungeHudson Flower Shop, Hudson United Methodist Church, Jonesy’s Local Bar & Grill, Knoke’s Chocolates & Nuts, kudos, La Rue Marche, Lucky Guys Distillery, Old Southern BBQ, Post-American Eatery, Seasons Gallery, The 715The Bees KneesThe Cellars Wine & Spirits, The EmpouriumThe Purple Tree, Urban Olive & Vine and Ziggy’s Live Music, Bar & Restaurant

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10-11am: Up, Up and Away Balloon Cookie Class for Kids Ages 5-11 with Diane Hirte at Grand Fête, 512 2nd Street. For kids age 5-11. Cost: $25. Learn more and register here.

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11:30am-12:30pm: Up, Up and Away Balloon Cookie Class with Diane Hirte, at Grand Fête, 512 2nd Street. For age 12-adult. Cost: $25. Learn more and register here.

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11am-3pm: BEAN BAG TOURNAMENT at Hop & Barrel Brewing Company, 310 2nd Street, sponsored Sponsored by Valley Companies and coordinated by the Hudson Lions Club (check in time 11am). Details and preregistration on SignUpGenius.

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11am-4:30pm: OCTAGON HOUSE MUSEUM OPEN HOUSE at 1004 3rd Street. Sponsored by Guinn, Vinopal & Zahradka, LLP. Come in out of the cold and join us to learn about Hudson history and the Moffat-Hughes family. Tours are $15/Adult, $12/Senior, Military, AAA, $8 K-12 Student or $40 for families of 4 or more. Stop by the Shoppe in the Carriage House to find unique gift items. Visit us on Facebook or www.HudsonOctagonHouse.org to learn more. (There are no restrooms available.)

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12-2pm: ST. CROIX RIVER DUNK at the Lakefront Park Beach.  Sponsored by the Hudson Rotary Club to raise funds for St. Croix Valley non-profits and clubs. For details and to registraise funds for St. Croix Valley non-profits and clubs. For details and to register your team, visit StCroixRiverDunk.com.
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Noon-2:30pm: MINNESOTA KITE SOCIETY at E.P. Rock school grounds, sponsored by Xcel Energy.  Society members provide a kite ground display, stunt kite demos, fighter kites. Kites for kids of all ages available for sale.

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Smoosh Board1pm: SMOOSH BOARD COMPETITION at E.P. Rock school ground Join in Hot Air Affair’s wackiest winter sport with 4 people strapped onto two Smooshboards. Prizes for each member of the competition winning team, and also individual prizes for the best “Experience the Magic” team costumes. Smoosh boards can be available, but you are highly encouraged to make your own Smooshboards (Skis) for the competition. Coordinated by John Knutson and the Women from Milwaukee. For registration, or questions, call or text John Knutson at 651-210-7858. The registration fee is only $10 per team.

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1pm: ICE CARVING at E.P. Rock school grounds. Sponsored by Smiles in Motion – Pediatric Dentistry.  See an award-winning ice carver turn a big block of ice into a magical masterpiece.

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1-3pm: Hot Air Balloon Cake Decorating Class with professional baker Diane Hirte at Grand Fête, 512 2nd Street. For adults. Cost: $45. Learn more and register here.

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2pm: MAGIC PRIZE DROP FUNDRAISER for the Hudson Area Public Library at E.P. Rock school grounds, sponsored by 8CH PRINT with partner Xcel Energy. $5 tickets available at the Library (prior to HHAA) or on the launch field and school cafeteria on Saturday, February 4, during Hot Air Affair. The winners receive a $100 cash prize, $50 for 2nd and $25 third place prize.

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2-5pm: BENEFIT BINGO FUNDRAISER for HUDSON BOOSTERS at The Village Inn Sports Bar and Grill, 723 6th St N, North Hudson. Sponsored by Woodland Hill. Popular afternoon bingo plus raise money for youth sports programs in Hudson (Fee)

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Balloon Launch3pm: BALLOON LAUNCH at E.P. Rock school grounds, 340 13th Street South. This is an optional flight. This means that if the balloons are able to fly at the morning launch, pilots can participate at the 3:00 flight at their discretion. However, if the balloons are not able to fly in the morning (and if weather permits) there will be a mass ascension flight at 3:00 pm. Event highlight!  All inflations and flights are weather dependent.

No Parking SignEP Rock School Parking Notice: Please be prepared for a change of parking around EP Rock School on 13th Street, Frear Street, Hoyt Street, Summer Street, and Nye Street. This year there will only be PARKING ON ONE SIDE OF THE STREET AROUND THE EP ROCK SCHOOL GROUNDS. The City of Hudson has made this change to allow for emergency vehicles and safer walking to and from the event. There will be parking signs posted. Please be courteous, DO NOT block driveways and follow all signage to make this a great event for everyone.

Hot air balloon flying is never guaranteed. Balloon rallies like Hudson Hot Air Affair require good weather conditions for balloon flights. If the balloons are not able to fly, please remember there is so much more to do in Hudson. Enjoy the other Hudson Hot Air Affair events or check out the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce website for Hudson Activities or Local Attractions.

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6:30pm:  HOT AIR BALLOON MOON GLOW or FIELD OF FIRE at E.P. Rock school.  Hot air balloons light up the dark so bring your camera for this spectacular event!  In case of windy weather, Moon Glow becomes a Field of Fire.

Moon Glow shuttle: Parking is available at Hudson United Methodist Church, 1401 Laurel Ave., on February 4 from 5-8:30pm with shuttle service to the Moon Glow. Accepting free will donations for shuttle service/parking. You are invited to stop inside the church for hot chocolate and a treat from 5-8:30pm.

No Parking SignEP Rock School Parking Notice: Please be prepared for a change of parking around EP Rock School on 13th Street, Frear Street, Hoyt Street, Summer Street, and Nye Street. This year there will only be PARKING ON ONE SIDE OF THE STREET AROUND THE EP ROCK SCHOOL GROUNDS. The City of Hudson has made this change to allow for emergency vehicles and safer walking to and from the event. There will be parking signs posted. Please be courteous, DO NOT block driveways and follow all signage to make this a great event for everyone.

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7:30-10:30pm: “PURE IMAGINATION” MOONLIGHT CABARET at The Real Magic House, 904 6th Street. Get ready to be transported into a dazzling atmosphere of vintage cabaret magic with vaudeville inspired jazz bands, local artists with pop up shops and other fantastical performances! This is the after party for the Hudson Hot Air Affair Moon Glow/Field of Fire, so come warm up with us and enjoy some bites and drinks inside of a magical historic home.

Early Bird Admission: We’re offering a limited quantity of early discounted tickets below. Once sold out, ticket prices increase to $50. Your contribution includes bites & refreshments and supports local artists in doing what they do best!

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SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2023

7:35am: BALLOON LAUNCH at E.P. Rock school grounds. 30+ hot air balloons in mass ascension flight. Event highlight! Inflations and flights are weather dependent.

No Parking SignEP Rock School Parking Notice: Please be prepared for a change of parking around EP Rock School on 13th Street, Frear Street, Hoyt Street, Summer Street, and Nye Street. This year there will only be PARKING ON ONE SIDE OF THE STREET AROUND THE EP ROCK SCHOOL GROUNDS. The City of Hudson has made this change to allow for emergency vehicles and safer walking to and from the event. There will be parking signs posted. Please be courteous, DO NOT block driveways and follow all signage to make this a great event for everyone.

Hot air balloon flying is never guaranteed. Balloon rallies like Hudson Hot Air Affair require good weather conditions for balloon flights. If the balloons are not able to fly, please remember there is so much more to do in Hudson. Enjoy the other Hudson Hot Air Affair events or check out the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce website for Hudson Activities or Local Attractions.

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9am-Noon: EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC BREAKFAST at Big Guys BBQ Roadhouse, 1237 Hwy 35 North. Be entertained tableside by a magician while enjoying breakfast—including Bloody Mary and mimosa specials for the adults and a special $5 Kids’ Balloon Breakfast menu.

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10:00 am:Eat Shop Play The unique shops, fun destinations and outstanding restaurants of Hudson and the surrounding area invite you to check out their winter offerings. Look for special promotions and events ideal for your winter outings in the Hudson area. Visit: Abigail Page Antiques, All Things Sheared at Eagle Eye FarmAngel’s Pet World, BackRoom Vintage/BackRoom Vintage-HOME, Bennett’s Chop & RailhouseBig Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin, Black Rooster BistroBuddy’s BakeryChapter2BooksDairy Queen-Hudson, Dick’s Bar & Grill, Ember & Bean Roasting Company, Erbert & Gerbert’s Sandwich ShopGrand Fête, Hudson Bowling Center/Plaza LoungeHudson Flower Shop, Hudson United Methodist Church, Jonesy’s Local Bar & Grill, Knoke’s Chocolates & Nuts, kudos, La Rue Marche, Lucky Guys Distillery, Old Southern BBQ, Post-American Eatery, Seasons Gallery, The 715The Bees KneesThe Cellars Wine & Spirits, The EmpouriumThe Purple Tree, Urban Olive & Vine and Ziggy’s Live Music, Bar & Restaurant

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Fat Bike RaceNoon: HIGH NOON HOT BALLOON FAT BIKE RACE, at Lakefront Park on the beautiful St. Croix River, downtown Hudson, sponsored by Velo Du Nord Coffee & Wellness. Online preregistration and event details at bikereg.com.

The Course: Fast and technical flow along the St. Croix river bottoms and Lake Front park in Downtown Hudson.  Punchy hills and twisty turns.

Number Pick-up: at 505 1st Street (In the parking lot by the Bathhouse)

Race Start: at 98 Walnut Street. Just west of the Hudson Arch. Please show up at the start line 5 min before your start time and be Ready to go! There will be place to ride around and warm up close by.

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Kids Ice Fishing Contest1-3pm: FREE KIDS’ ICE FISHING CONTEST sponsored by Nutty Squirrel Sports Saloon/Cheap Andy’s Saloon and Carbone’s Pizzeria/Willow River Saloon in cooperation with the St. Croix County Parks, the St. Croix County Alliance of Sportsman’s Clubs and Fleet Farm. Ice fishing on Perch Lake, 501 Perch Lake Road, near the boat landing by Homestead Park. Equipment and mentors on site. Giveaways for all the participants.

Free shuttle service available from Carbone’s Pizzeria/Willow River Saloon in Burkhardt. (Parking at Perch Lake is limited).

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1-3pm: Balsamic Chocolate Truffle Class at Grand Fête, 512 2nd Street. For adults. Cost: $45. Learn  more and register here.
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