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Hudson's Hot Air Affair: Let the fun begin

Hudson Hot Air Affair has 40 hot air balloons scheduled to attend the 2018 “Touchdown Hudson XXIX” event Jan. 26-28. The commercial balloons attending this year will include: US Bank balloon piloted by Scott McClinton, RE/MAX Maximum Exposure piloted by Ken Walter, RE/MAX Results piloted by Mike Sommer and Blaser SwissLube piloted by Rick Piendel. Photo courtesy of the Hudson Hot Air Affair1 / 3
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The Hudson Hot Air Affair kicks off Friday, Jan. 26, with the Hot Air Affair Torchlight Parade. The parade starts at the Wells Fargo parking lot and travels down Second Street, turning down Walnut Street and ends at the Hudson Arch. Blasts of flames from the balloon units will help warm the crowd. Spectators will see marching kazoo bands and "Touchdown Hudson XXIX"-themed parade units. Immediately after the parade there is a fireworks display at Lakefront Park sponsored by Andersen Corp.

The parade grand marshals will be former NFL player and Hudsonite Barry Rose; along with Hudson High School football coach Adam Knowles and the Raiders football players.

Read more about the Hot Air Affair here.

Hot Air Affair is a family-friendly winter festival and hot air balloon rally is a weekend packed full of activities. WESTconsin Credit Union returns as the corporate sponsor. The hot air balloons are the highlight of the event, offering a colorful show with mass ascension flights of 40 hot air balloons (weather permitting). All of the launches are at E.P. Rock Elementary, 340 13th St. S., Hudson.

The first launch is scheduled for sunrise (7:35 a.m.) Saturday, Jan. 27. There is an afternoon launch at 3 p.m. This is an optional flight if the morning flight is launched or a mass ascension if the morning flight was canceled. The final launch is set for 7:35 a.m. Sunday.

One of the most spectacular sights at Hot Air Affair is the Moon Glow on at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The balloons inflate and glow like colorful lanterns in the night. In the event of windy weather, this becomes a Field of Fire as the pilots use their burners to light up the sky with flames.

Hot Air Affair also offers opportunities to have fun while you give back to local community organizations with several different fundraising events.

The Taste of Hot Air Affair "Touchdown Hudson XXIX" edition is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Hudson House Grand Hotel. Enjoy wine, spirits and beer tastings, food, live music by Boondoggle, and a silent auction fundraiser with proceeds to benefit Hudson Relay For Life-American Cancer Society.

Hudson Boosters will hold their annual HAA bingo fundraiser 2-4:30 p.m. and then again from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Hudson House Grand Hotel.

Hot Air Affair is hosting a new fundraiser, Flying Footballs for Hudson Police Explorers. Make a donation and join in the fun and watch the flying footballs drop during Hot Air Affair. If your numbered football lands the closest to the target, you are the winner. Prizes of $100, $50 and $25 will be awarded for the three closest footballs that land on the target.

The Hot Air Affair brochures with event details are available at local businesses and the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau office. Visit www.HudsonHotAirAffair.com for details and a complete event schedule.