Hudson Hot Air Affair :: 2019 Schedule

Friday, January 11, 6:30-9:30 pm: COUNT DOWN EVENT and KICK OFF FUNDRAISER at Big Guys BBQ Roadhouse, 1237 Hwy 35 North. Meat Raffle Fundraiser for 2019 “Pirates Fly’n the Croix-ribbean” theme.

Saturday, January 12, 10:00 am-1:00 pm: COUNT DOWN EVENT at County Market. Celebrate “Pirates Fly’n the Croix-ribbean” theme. See the hot air balloon basket. Kids pick up coloring sheets of balloons. FREE

Candlelight SkiSaturday, January 12, 5:00-8:00 pm: CANDLELIGHT HIKE AND SKI, at YMCA Camp St. Croix’s north property (DayCroix), sponsored by PCK Foundation. Candle-lit trails for cross-country skiing and hiking along with trail side fires for quick warm ups. Come see a hot air balloon. Complimentary refreshments hosted by Art Doyle’s Spokes & Pedals. FREE

Monday, January 14, 4:00-8:00 pm: COUNT DOWN EVENT FUNDRAISER at Jimmy John’s, 131 Carmichael Centre. Fundraiser for the 2019 “Pirates Fly’n the Croix-ribbean” theme. Say you’re from the Hot Air Affair and we benefit!

Saturday, January 19, 9:00-11:00 am: BREAKFAST CRAFTS FOR KIDS at Dick’s Bar & Grill, 111 Walnut Street. Come have breakfast and see a hot air balloon basket—celebrate the 2019 Hot Air Affair with a FREE art event for the kids.

Saturday, January 19, 1:00-3:00 pm: HOT AIR AFFAIR CREW SCHOOL at E.P. Rock Elementary School. Come learn how to crew for a hot air balloon—set up, launch, deflate and pack up. Class by Stillwater Balloon. Open to adults and teenagers. $5 per person or $10 per family. Pre-register by January 16 at Hudson Community Education.

Fair Day 4-HSaturday, January 26, 10:00 am-1:00 pm: FUN at THE FAIR EVENT at Family Fresh Market. Learn about the St. Croix County Fair and 4-H projects and activities. Food sampling and register to win prizes, including a balloon ride in the Family Fresh hot air balloon during HAA 2019. FREE

Saturday, January 26, 10:00 am: PIRATE TREASURER HUNT. Kick off and first clue at Family Fresh Market. Clues every day on Hot Air Affair Facebook and at Family Fresh Market in Hudson. Hunt winner gets $100 gift certificate prize from Family Fresh Market.

Saturday, January 26, 1:00-3:00 pm: FAMILY DAY ACTIVITY at The Phipps Center for the Arts. Adults and children of all ages will create neotropical migratory bird “costumes” to wear in the quirky and fun “Pirates Fly’n the Croix-ribbean” Torchlight Parade on Feb. 1. Co-sponsored by Tropical Wings, a non-profit that promotes awareness of birds and supports habitat conservation. FREE. No registration required.

Saturday, January 26, 7:00-10:30 pm: TASTE OF HOT AIR AFFAIR –  “PIRATES FLY’N THE CROIX-RIBBEAN” EDITION, at the Hudson House Grand Hotel. Sponsored by BMO Harris Bank-Hudson and Keller Williams Realty Integrity WI/MN-Herg Group-Mary Yacoub. NOTE NEW DATE! Enjoy spirits, wine and beer tastings, along with appetizers, decadent chocolates and artisan cheeses. Live music by  Boondoggle, silent auction, and wine pull. Proceeds to American Cancer Society. Admission. Learn more…>

Sunday, January 27, 4:30-6:30 pm (4:30 class full) – Due to popular demand we’ve added a second class at 7:30-9:30 pm: CARIBBEAN COOKING CLASS at Grand Fête, 512 2nd Street, downtown Hudson. Some of the most exciting and flavorful dishes come from the Caribbean. Explore this amazing cuisine and transport your taste buds to the tropics. Register online at or in person. Class fee.

Parrot PaintingTuesday, January 29, 6:00 pm: HAA CANVAS PARTY PAINTING CLASS with Audrey Martin, featuring the “Pirates Fly’n the Croix-ribbean” theme, at Urban Olive & Vine. $45 for class & supplies, additional cost for food & beverages. Must pre-register at

Learn more…>



School progrm with Ken WalterBALLOONING EDUCATION PROGRAM. Classroom programs on hot air ballooning and “Pirates Fly’n the Croix-ribbean” in Hudson and area schools. Programs coordinated by Hot Air Affair Committee, pilots, Viking Electronics, The UPS Store-Hudson and Spring Creek Dental.

10:00 am: “PIRATES FLY’N THE CROIX-RIBBEAN” SUPER SALE & BUTTON INSTANT PRIZES at Hudson businesses. Winter clearance sales and special events. Check your Hot Air Affair button number against numbers posted in participating stores Feb. 1-3 and you could be an instant winner! Pick up your button at the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau office or participating businesses. Shop Abigail Page Antiques, Angel’s Pet WorldApplebee’s Restaurant, Art Doyle’s Spokes and Pedals, Brick’s Neapolitan Pizza, Chapter2BooksEt Cetera, Grace + GritGrand FêteHop & Barrel Brewing Company, Hudson Flower ShopKnoke’s ChocolatesLa Rue MarcheMarnie’s Games, Gifts & MoreThe Postmark GrilleThe Purple TreeSEASONS on St. Croix GalleryThe 715, Suri Oaks Exquisite Alpaca Fashions, and Urban Olive & Vine.

HOT AIR AFFAIR OUTDOOR FUN—GEOCACHING throughout the Hudson area. Go to 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.

Tourchlight Parade7:00 pm: TORCHLIGHT “PIRATES FLY’N THE CROIX-RIBBEAN”, FEATURING PRIZES for the BEST OVERALL PARADE UNIT, the BEST UNIT by HOT AIR BALLOONISTS, the BEST “PIRATES FLY’N the CROIX-RIBBEAN ” THEME UNIT and the BEST KAZOO MARCHING BAND. Hot air balloon pilots and crews displaying blasts of fire. Grand Marshals honoring “PIRATE” theme. Parade participants line up at 6 pm at Wells Fargo Bank parking lot and parade travels down 2nd Street. Prizes in each category. Please call 715-386-8332, 715-386-6217 or 715-381-2050 by noon on February 1 to register. Parade sponsors include 4-Ever YoungBarker’s Bar & Grill/San Pedro Café/Pedro del Este, Culver’s-Hudson, Hudson Bowling Center/Plaza LoungeOakwood Dental, Oral Surgery CenterPizza Hut, St. Croix Kidds Pediatric Dentistry, Valley Agencies-Dennis Lee, Valley Orthodontics, Viking Electronics, and Winzer Stube.

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

6:00-8:30 pm: LIVE MUSIC, Jazz Savvy, at Urban Olive & Vine, 520 2nd Street.

8:00 pm: LIVE MUSIC, Capital Sons, at Ziggy’s, 302 2nd Street, and 10:00 pm: Scary Numan.

9:00 pm: KARAOKE, at Plaza Lounge, Plaza 94.

10:00 pm: LIVE MUSIC, Shirts & Skins at Smilin’ Moose, 601 2nd Street.

6:00 pm: DANCE with DJ MUSIC at Dick’s Bar & Grill, 111 Walnut Street.




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

7:00 am-noon: PANCAKE BREAKFAST at the Masonic Temple, 209 Locust Street. Sponsored by Masonic Lodge #56. Menu includes pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, fruit, beverages. $8.00 adults, $4.00 children under 11.

8:00 am-8:00 pm: MARKETPLACE AND CRAFT FAIR at E.P. Rock School. HAA Craft SaleCraft 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. Hot food and drinks available in cafeteria by local non-profit groups.

8:00 am: HOT AIR AFFAIR GEOCACHING. See description under Friday, February 1.

8:00 am: WARM UP STATION, sponsored by YMCA in Hudson. Visit the E.P. Rock school cafeteria throughout the day for “Pirates Fly’n the Croix-ribbean” special events, music, dance performances and fun. Take a warm up break, refreshments available to purchase.

9:00-10:30 am: GEOCACHING FOR FAMILY FUN. Come meet local geocachers and learn about the fun, family adventure of geocaching. Equipment will be shown and you’ll learn how to get coordinates and search for hidden treasures. E.P. Rock School cafeteria.

5K Run/Walk10:00 am: UP, UP & AWAY 5K FUN RUN/WALK at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, sponsored by Creative Homes, Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton-Hudson, Hudson Neighbors MagazineMcCabe Chiropractic & Wellness Center, and Thrivent Financial-Tracy Berglund. Registration starting 9 am at church, 505 13th St. South. Pre-register at $25 pre-register by Jan. 25 or $30 day of race. Door prizes, race sweatshirt and refreshments. Learn more…>

10:00 am-4 pm: OCTAGON HOUSE MUSEUM Tours, 1004 3rd Street. Sponsored by Guinn, Vinopal & Zahradka, LLP Accountants. Guided tour and special displays. Admission: $10 Adult, $3 students.

10:00 am: “PIRATES FLY’N THE CROIX-RIBBEAN” SUPER SALE & BUTTON INSTANT PRIZES at Hudson businesses. See description under Friday, February 1.

10:00 am-2:00 pm: PIRATES PORT! (Sorry – this event has been CANCELLED)

12:00-3:00 pm: 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.

Smoosh Board1:00 pm: SMOOSH BOARD COMPETITION at E.P. Rock school grounds. Hot Air Affair’s wackiest winter sport with 4 people on the same smoosh boards. Call 715-386-1155 for team registration, $10 per team. P Prizes for best team in competition plus best “Pirates Fly’n the Croix-ribbean” costumes. Smoosh boards available. Coordinated by Catalyst Sports Medicine.

1:00 pm: ICE CARVING, sponsored by Liberty Tax Service at E.P. Rock school grounds. See a professional award-winning ice carver turn a big block of ice into a pirate theme masterpiece.

1:00 pm: BIRDS OF PREY PRESENTATION, featuring the naturalist from Carpenter Nature Center at Angel’s Pet World. Kids learn about nature—see live raptors up close!

2:00 pm: PIRATE’S TREASURE DROP FUNDRAISER for the HUDSON POLICE CANINE PROGRAM, at E.P. Rock school grounds, sponsored by Image House. Attend the pirate theme flying treasures event, help raise funds, meet Hudson Police Department Canine Program officer Robert Larson and his canine partner Badger.

Jack Sparrow2:00-4:00 pm: MEET & GREET JACK SPARROW from Captain Jack Entertainment, sponsored by Associated Bank at E.P. Rock School cafeteria. Little mateys have fun with the pirate theme. Free meet and greet—bring your cameras to capture a pirate memory.

2:00-4:30 pm: BENEFIT BINGO FUNDRAISER FOR HUDSON BOOSTERS at Hudson House Grand Hotel. Popular afternoon bingo plus raise money for youth sports programs in Hudson. Fee. Cash bar.

3:00 pm: BALLOON LAUNCH at E.P. Rock school grounds, 340 13th Street South. This is an optional flight if morning flight launched or a mass ascension if morning flight was canceled. Event highlight! All inflations and flights are weather dependent.

6:00-8:30 pm: LIVE MUSIC, Andy & Kathryn Karg at Urban Olive & Vine, 520 2nd Street.

J Bucklew Moon Glow

6:30 pm: HOT AIR BALLOON MOON GLOW or FIELD OF FIRE at E.P. Rock school grounds. Event highlight! 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. Meet Jack Sparrow at the Peg Leg Pete Flying Parrot balloon. Presented by WESTconsin Credit Union.

6:30-9:30 pm: BENEFIT BINGO FUNDRAISER for HUDSON BOOSTERS at Hudson House Grand Hotel. Enjoy a fun filled evening of bingo and raise money for youth sports programs in Hudson. Fee. Cash bar.

Pirate Youngs7:00-10:00 pm: SWASHBUCKLER’S SOIRÉE at Madison Avenue Wine & Spirits, 1510 Swasey Street. Caribbean inspired cocktails, rum sampling and Caribbean influenced food offerings. Live music, come meet Jack Sparrow! Free admission. Cash food and bar.

9:00 pm: KARAOKE at Plaza Lounge, Plaza 94.

9:00 pm: LIVE MUSIC at HeBeGB’s, at Ziggy’s, 302 2nd Street.

9:30 pm: LIVE MUSIC at Big Guys BBQ Roadhouse, 1237 Hwy 35 North.

9:30 pm: DANCE with DJ MUSIC at Smilin’ Moose, 601 2nd Street.

10:00 pm: DANCE with DJ MUSIC at Dick’s Bar & Grill, 111 Walnut Street.



RE/MAX Inflate7:35 am: BALLOON LAUNCH, 30+ hot air balloons and special shapes in second mass ascension flight. E.P. Rock school grounds. Inflations and flights are weather dependent.

HOT AIR AFFAIR GEOCACHING. See description under Friday, February 1.

10:00 am: “PIRATES FLY’N THE CROIX-RIBBEAN” SUPER SALE & BUTTON INSTANT PRIZES at Hudson businesses. See description under Friday, February 1.

11:00 am-4 pm: Chili Cook-Off at BIG GUYS BBQ ROADHOUSE, 1237 Hwy 35N Win prizes for Hot & Tasty, Best Chili and Best Presentation. Entry fee. Full details on Facebook.

Pet Costume1:00 pm: PET COSTUME CONTEST, sponsored by Angel’s Pet World, 105 2nd Street. Win gift certificates for dressing up your pet—$50, $25 and $15 for top costumes including “Pirates Fly’n the Croix-ribbean” costumes.

2:00-4:00 pm: LAKE MALLALIEU KIDS ICE FISHING DERBY. Sponsored by Old Southern BBQ. The fishing will be held at the southwest bay of Lake Mallalieu; ages 6-12. Presented by Rod, Gun & Archery Club and St. Croix County Sportsmans Alliance. Mentors and loaner equipment. Fire, cocoa and outhouse.

10:00 pm: LIVE MUSIC, Jeff Loven at Dick’s Bar & Grill, 111 Walnut Street.