Hudson Hot Air Affair :: 2020 Schedule

Visit the UpLift Art Installtion, located by the Hudson Arch in Lakefront Park, 98 Walnut Street. UpLift is a temprary art piece that will be available for viewing and interaction in Lakefront Park thru mid-March. Check out the spinning balloons and take a photo with UpLift and share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other social media with #UpliftHudson.



School progrm with Ken WalterBALLOONING EDUCATION PROGRAM. Classroom programs on hot air ballooning and “Balloon’n Up Nort” in Hudson and area schools. Programs coordinated by Hot Air Affair Committee, pilots, Family Fresh-River Falls & New Richmond, Spring Creek Dental, The UPS Store-Hudson and Viking Electronics.

UP NORT HATS AND PHOTO FRAMES – All 3 days of Hot Air Affair. Take a selfie wearing your favorite winter hat with an Up Nort photo frame and share on Facebook or Instagram. Photo frames are available for use during Hot Air Affair on the launch field and at UpLift art installment (Sat. 11 am – 1 pm) in Lakefront Park. You can also visit The 715 (Friday, 10-7, Sat 10-6, Sun 11-5) and The Purple Tree (Friday 11-9, Sat 10-5 & Sun 12-4), in downtown Hudson to take a selfie wearing your favorite winter hat with the Up Nort photo frame.
Sponsored by Jim & Kerry Rouleau and Deanna Grigus Photography.

10:00 am: “Balloon’n Up Nort’ – Yah Sure You Betcha” 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. 7-9 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 & Pedals, Brick’s Neapolitan Pizza, Chapter2BooksGrace + GritGrand FêteHudson Flower ShopKnoke’s Chocolates, Kudo’s Home & Fashion, La Rue Marche, SEASONS on St. Croix GalleryThe 715, The Postmark Grille, The Purple Tree, The Subhouse 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.

5:00-8:00 pm: LIVE MUSIC, Piano Bar, at Ziggy’s, 302 2nd Street,followed by Wicked Garden 8:00 pm-12:00 am.

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

Tourchlight Parade7:00 pm: TORCHLIGHT “Balloon’n Up Nort” PARADE.  Featuring prizes for the best overall parade unit, the best unit by hot air balloonist, the best “Balloon’n Up Nort” themed unit and the best kazoo marching band.  Grand Marshal Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary-designee Sara Meaney. Hot air balloon pilots and crews displaying blasts of fire.  Parade participants line up at 6 pm at Wells Fargo Bank parking lot and parade travels down 2nd Street.  Please call 715-386-8332, 651-271-1305 or 715-381-2050 by noon on February 7 to register. Parade sponsors include 4-Ever Young, Culver’s-Hudson, Citizens State Bank, Hop & Barrel Brewing Company, Hudson Bowling Center/Plaza LoungeOakwood Dental, Oral Surgery CenterSt. Croix Kidds Pediatric Dentistry, Valley Agencies-Dennis Lee, Viking Electronics and Winzer Stube *FREE EVENT*

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

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

9:30 pm: LIVE MUSICGood For Gary at Smilin’ Moose, 601 2nd Street.

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



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.


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. *FREE EVENT*

8:00 am-8:00 pm: MARKETPLACE AND CRAFT FAIR at E.P. Rock School. Shop for crafts, special winter apparel, ballooning and Hot Air Affair souvenirs at the Hudson Hot Air Affair Marketplace.
The craft Fair features 34 vendors with wide range of products: winter hats, scarves a mitten, socks, a caricature artist, face painting, jewelry, cards, soaps, lotions, oils, honey, salsa, butters, dips, spicy drink mixes, pet supplies, kitchen gadgets and towel, leather wallets, home décor, chainsaw carvings, metal art, candles, hair ornaments, can cozies and baby toys and so much more.
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.

HOT AIR AFFAIR GEOCACHING. See description under Friday, February 7.

9:00 am: WARM UP STATION, sponsored by YMCA in Hudson. Visit the E.P. Rock school cafeteria throughout the day for special events, music, martial arts, dance performances and fun.  Take a warm up break, refreshments available to purchase. *FREE EVENT*

5K Run/Walk9:00 am: RUNNIN’ UP NORT 5K AND KIDS’ RUN, YMCA Camp St. Croix’s north property (DayCroix), 345 Riverview Drive, Hudson. Sponsored by Thrivent Financial-Tracy Berglund, Smiles in Motion-Pediatric Dentistry, Creative Homes, Integrity Cleaners, Family Fresh Market – River Falls & New Richmond and Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton-Hudson.  Registration starts 8 am.  Pre-register online or mail in paper form.  $25 pre-register by Jan. 31 or $30 day of race.  Kids’ race $10. Up Nort costume contest.  Crafts, snowman building and family activities. 
View the 2020 Runnin’ Up Nort’ 5K Race Results.

10:00 am-2:00 pm:  CORN HOLE TOURNAMENT at Big Guys BBQ Roadhouse, sponsored by New Image Siding & Windows.  The competition will be indoors. Prizes for top 2 teams.  Coordinated by Hudson Lions Club.
Pre-register here by January 25, Fee – $25 for a Team of 2 people. Teams of 2 people will compete against other Teams of 2 people.  Registration at the door on February 8 will be $40 per team.
View a event flyer.

10:00 am-4 pm: OCTAGON HOUSE MUSEUM Tours, 1004 3rd Street. Sponsored by Guinn, Vinopal & Zahradka, LLP Accountants. Special display on lumbering history. Admission: $12 Adult, $5 students.

10:00 am:  “BALLOON’N UP NORT” SUPER SALE & BUTTON INSTANT PRIZES at Hudson businesses.  See description under Friday, February 7.

High Noon Hot Balloon11:00 am:  HIGH NOON HOT BALLOON BIKE RACE, Lakefront Park on the beautiful St. Croix River, downtown Hudson, sponsored by Velo Du Nord Coffee & Wellness.  Registration starts 10am at Winzer Stube German Restaurant & Bar, 516 2nd Street. $20 pre-registration and ONLY $10 for 18 and under by Feb. 7 or $25 day of race.
This race is a fundraiser for the Hudson Fire Department.
The course will be backdropped by the beautiful St. Croix river valley at Lakefront Park in Hudson WI. It will be a punchy circuit Starting on the Historic Toll bridge then shooting full speed into the park, there will be short and steep up hills and downhills, technical riding through the woods, power sections and some bumps and jumps. For those who are familiar with the Cyclocross race held here in the past, it will have a similar flavor.
View a flyer for the race >
View the race course >

12:00 – 3:00 pm:  MYSTERY HOTDISH TASTING hosted by Grand Fête and JZ Wold Design Center, in the JZ Wold Inspired Home demo Kitchen at 512 2nd Street. Explore the mystery stories of Hotdish To Die For, a collection of six culinary mystery short stories where the weapon of choice is a hotdish. Taste some great hotdish recipes, vote for your favorite and have a chance to win a free cooking class at Grand Fete and a copy of Hotdish to Die For by Minnesota author Pat Dennis. Test hotdish favorites like: Drop it like it’s Tot Hotdish; Baby you really know how to open them cans hotdish; Goldfish Tuna Hotdish; along with a few classics. For cripe sake… It’s gonna be good, you betcha! *FREE EVENT*
Here is a little mood music: The Tater Tot Hotdish Song by Ukulele Pete.

12:00-2:30 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. *FREE EVENT*

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. Contact John Knutson at 715-386-1155, or to register a team. $10 per team.  Prizes for best team in competition plus best “Balloon’n Up Nort” costumes.  Smoosh boards available.  Coordinated by Catalyst Sports Medicine. *FREE to watch*

1:00 pm: ICE CARVING, sponsored by Whitney & Colleen Eigenfeld at E.P. Rock school grounds. See an award-winning ice carver turn a big block of ice into a northwoods theme masterpiece. *FREE EVENT*

1:00-3:00 pm:  Crafts For KIDS, sponsored by Associated Bank at E.P. Rock School cafeteria.  Kids have fun with the Up Nort theme this year.  FREE for all children. *FREE EVENT*

2:00 pm:  FLYIN’ UP NORT FUNDRAISER for OPERATION HELP at E.P. Rock school grounds.  Sponsored by 8CH PRINT.  Charity event—tickets available at EP Rock School and on the launch field or Get your tickets now at Hudson House Grand Hotel, 1616 Crest View Drive, Hudson or call Lori at 651-788-6355.

2:00 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 “Balloon’n Up Nort” costumes. *FREE EVENT*

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. *FREE EVENT*

5:00-8:00 pm: LIVE MUSIC, Piano Bar at Ziggy’s, 302 2nd Street followed by Tumblin’ Dice 8:00 pm-12:00 am.

6:00 pm: LIVE MUSIC, Alan Husby Trio 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! Sponsored by Hall Family Foundation. 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. *FREE EVENT*

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.

6:00-10:00 pm:  BACKWOODS BASH at Madison Avenue Wine & Spirits, 1510 Swasey Street. Live music by Flannel Brothers Band!  Indoor axe throwing & hammerschlagen.  Blue Ox spirits samples, theme cocktails, hotdish & hot beef sandwiches.  Free admission.  Cash food and bar.

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

9:00 pm: LATE NIGHT DANCE PARTY at Smilin’ Moose, 601 2nd Street.

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



RE/MAX InflateThe Hudson Hot Air Affair Sunday morning launch announcement:
On Sunday, February 9 in the interest of safety, and in regards for the majority of our pilots and guests, it is necessary to cancel the Sunday morning launch. Please join in other Hot Air Affair Sunday events as the weather allows.

7:35 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.  
The Balloon Launch has been canceled.
At this time, most of the Sunday events will continue as planned.

12:00-4:00 pm: BIG CHILI BLOWOUT at BIG GUYS BBQ ROADHOUSE, 1237 Hwy 35N.  Featuring chili cookoff, Touchstone hot air balloon tether and a Euchre Tournament Fundraiser for St. Croix Valley Dementia Friendly Communities Coalition.
Big Chili Blowout Categories: People’s Choice; Granny’s Recipe (Traditional), Hot & Tasty, and Uff-da – That’s different! $15 entry fee (limited to 30 entries) with payout 100% to 3 judged categories. One big prize for People’s Choice. Registration is required by Thursday, Feb. 6. Register in person at Big Guy’s BBQ Roadhouse or register online and you will receive a confirmation email with details for submitting payment.
Euchre Tournament Fundraiser Details: Cost $15 per person; you can register as team or individual. Registration opens at noon; play begins at 12:30 p.m. Payout to top 3 teams. Payout amount depends on number of participants…the more people that play, the bigger the payout. So, bring all your friends! Pre-registration is appreciated but not required. Register online or by emailing or by calling 715-796-5613 or 715-821-4575.

1:00 pm:  BEASTLY BODIES PRESENTATION at Angel’s Pet World. Featuring the naturalist from Carpenter Nature Center.  Kids learn the differences between animal groups. *FREE EVENT*

The Kids Cooking Class has been CANCELED
Grand Fête,
512 2nd Street, taught by Karen Holman. Register online at or in person.  $40.

HAA Kid's Fishing Contest2:00-4:00 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, hot cocoa and outhouse. *FREE EVENT*

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