Plans are are underway for the 2019 Hot Air Affair. Please check back in December for the updated 2019 schedule of events.

Hudson Hot Air Affair :: 2018 Schedule



Ice CastlesSunday, January 7, 3:00-6:00 pm: HOT AIR AFFAIR AT THE ICE CASTLES in Stillwater, MN. Come check out the fire of hot air balloon burners at the ice spectacular and meet the Snow Queen and her Royal Guard.

Saturday, January 13, 10:00 am-1:00 pm: COUNT DOWN EVENT at County Market. Celebrate the Touchdown Hudson XXIX theme with all things football. See the hot air balloon basket. Kids pick up coloring sheets of balloons. FREE

Saturday, January 13, 5:00-8:00 pm: Candlelight Hike and Ski, 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

Balloon PaintingWednesday, January 17, 6:00 pm: HAA CANVAS PARTY PAINTING CLASS with Audrey Martin, featuring the Touchdown Hudson XXIX Balloon, at Belle Vinez Winery, 10829 875th Ave., south of Hudson. $45 for class and supplies, additional cost for food and beverages. Must pre-register at

Saturday, January 20, 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 2018 Hot Air Affair with a free art event for the kids.

Saturday, January 20, 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 2018. FREE

Saturday, January 20, 1:00-3:00 pm: FAMILY DAY ACTIVITY at The Phipps Center for the Arts. Adults and children of all ages will create “costumes” to wear in the quirky and fun “Touchdown Hudson XXIX” Torchlight Parade on Jan. 26. All materials provided for this FREE hands-on art-making activity. No registration required.

Friday, January 26 – February 28: PHOTO CONTEST coordinated by PressEnter!. Submit your best photos of any HAA event and you could win a prize. Send to 421 N 2nd St., River Falls, WI 54022 or email to
Learn more…>




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

10:00 am: “TOUCHDOWN HUDSON XXIX” 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 Jan. 26-28 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 Dilly Dally in the Alley, SEASONS on St. Croix Gallery, Et Cetera, The Purple Tree, Art Doyle’s Spokes and Pedals, The Nova, Knoke’s Chocolates, Abigail Page Antiques, The Lone Squirrel, Hudson Flower Shop, Urban Olive & Vine, La Rue Marche, Stone Tap, Applebee’s Restaurant, Angel’s Pet World, Salvaged with Style, The 715, The Postmark Grille, Grand Fête, Suri Oaks, Chapter2Books, The SubHouse, and Brick’s Neapolitan Pizza.

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.

7:00 pm: TORCHLIGHT “TOUCHDOWN HUDSON XXIX” PARADE, FEATURING PRIZES FOR THE BEST OVERALL PARADE UNIT, THE BEST UNIT BY HOT AIR BALLOONISTS, THE BEST “TOUCHDOWN HUDSON XXIX” THEME UNIT AND THE BEST KAZOO MARCHING BAND. Hot air balloon pilots and crews displaying blasts of fire. Grand Marshals honoring Hudson High School football coach Adam Kowles and the Raiders football players, plus former NFL player and hometown Hudson star Barry Rose. Parade participants line up at 6 pm at Wells Fargo Bank parking lot and parade travels down 2nd Tourchlight ParadeStreet. Prizes in each category. Please call 715-386-8332, 715-386-6217 or 715-381-2050 by noon on January 26 to register. Parade sponsors include Viking Electronics, Hudson Bowling Center/Plaza Lounge, Valley Agencies-Dennis Lee, Culver’s-Hudson, Oral Surgery Center, Winzer Stube, Barker’s Bar & Grill/San Pedro Café/Pedro del Este, Applebee’s Restaurant, Stone Tap, 4-Ever Young, Valley Orthodontics, St. Croix Kidds Pediatric Dentistry, Pizza Hut, and Club 304/Pudge’s Saloon & Eatery.

FIREWORKS 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, Anne Deming, Urban Olive & Vine, 520 2nd Street.

6:00 pm: LIVE MUSIC till 9 pm & DJ starting at 10 pm, Dick’s Bar & Grill, 111 Walnut Street.

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

10:00 pm: LIVE MUSIC, Junk FM Band, Smilin’ Moose, 601 2nd Street.





7:35 am: BALLOON LAUNCH, 30+ hot air balloons in mass ascension flight at sunrise,
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, ham, scrambled eggs, biscuits and sausage 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. 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. Hot food and drinks available in cafeteria by local non-profit groups. (Craft vendors, please note the craft booth spaces have all been filled.)

8:00 am: HOT AIR AFFAIR GEOCACHING. See description under Friday, January 26.

8:00 am: WARM UP STATION, sponsored by YMCA in Hudson. Visit the E.P. Rock school cafeteria throughout the day for “Touchdown Hudson XXIX” 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 Thrivent Financial-Tracy Berglund, Walgreens-Hudson, McCabe Chiropractic & Wellness Center, Hudson Neighbors Magazine, Creative Homes and Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton-Hudson. Registration starting 9 am at church, 505 13th St. S. Pre-register at $20 pre-register by Jan. 21 or $25 day of race. Door prizes, race shirt and refreshments. Learn more…>

10:00 am-4 pm: OCTAGON HOUSE MUSEUM, sponsored by Guinn, Vinopal & Zahradka, LLP Accountants. Guided tour and special displays. Admission: $10 Adult, $3 students.
10:00 am: “TOUCHDOWN HUDSON XXIX” SUPER SALE AND BUTTON INSTANT PRIZES at Hudson businesses. See description under Friday, January 26.

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. Prizes for best team in competition plus best “Touchdown Hudson XXIX” 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 pigskin masterpiece.

1:00-3:00 pm: CRAFTS FOR KIDS, sponsored by Associated Bank at E.P. Rock School cafeteria. Kids have fun with the football theme this year. Free for all children. Partners with Hudson Grocery Co-op.

2:00 pm: TOUCHDOWN HUDSON XXIX” Flying Footballs, at E.P. Rock school grounds, sponsored by Helmer Companies. Our signature football fun event celebrating flying pigskins plus raise money for a good cause.

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

RE/MAX Inflate

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.

3:30 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 plus a bonus prize for the best “Touchdown Hudson XXIX” theme costume.

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. Presented by WESTconsin Credit Union.

6:30-9:00 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.

6:00-8:30 pm: LIVE MUSIC, Quinn and Meyer, Urban Olive & Vine, 520 2nd Street.

7:30-10:30 pm: TASTE OF HOT AIR AFFAIR – TOUCHDOWN HUDSON XXIX EDITION, sponsored by Crestview Family Dental, at Hudson House Grand Hotel. 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 Hudson Relay For Life-American Cancer Society. Admission. Learn more…>

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

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




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.

HOT AIR AFFAIR GEOCACHING. See description under Friday, January 26.

10:00 am: “TOUCHDOWN HUDSON XXIX” SUPER SALE AND BUTTON INSTANT PRIZES at Hudson businesses. See description under Friday, January 26.

HAA Kid's Fishing Derby2:00-4:00 pm: LAKE MALLALIEU KIDS ICE FISHING DERBY, sponsored by BMO Harris Bank; 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.

3:00-7:00 pm: 1st ANNUAL HOT DISH CONTEST & BREWS at HOP & BARREL, sponsored by Hop & Barrel Brewing Company. $10 entry cost with all entry fees going towards the best hot dish prize! Entry maximum 20, one entry per person. Full details on Facebook. RSVP with name, phone and email to