About Balloon Events
Balloon Events & Tasks
The Alabama Jubilee balloon events consists of four balloon activites.
Each morning there is a 'task' (often refered to as a 'race') that is a competition flight for the balloonists. In the evenings there are on-the-field balloon activities for spectaters to get close to the balloons as well as fun-flights that do-not involve competition.
Saturday Morning - Morgan County Comission Hare & Hound Task.
During this task, one ballon designated as the 'hare' will launch before the others. After the launch, an air-horn is blown to signal the other balloons that they are allowed to inflate and launch. Once in the air they try to follow the first balloon.
After a period of time, the first ballon will land and roll out a large fabric 'X' onto which the "hound" balloons will try to drop a bean-bag marker. Whoever is closest to the center wins.
Late risers or spectaters that enjoy a chase can follow this balloon and watch the others drop on the X. Note, if you do-so please follow all traffic laws, be mindful of private property and balloon crews trying to conduct operations.
Saturday Evening - Fun Flight, Tethers, & Balloon Glow
During Saturday afternoon, some balloon pilots will inflate and glow while others are given the opportunity to fly, if the weather permits. One half of our 60 ballons are asked to stay at the jubilee field for the glow and one-half is allowed to fly.
Once twilight begins, the balloons will discontinue any tethering so that we can 'glow' the balloons in the dark lighting up all the beautiful colors for spectators to see. It is a truely magical sight.
Sunday Morning - Lynn Layton Key Grab Task
On Sunday morning the competition task is a 'fly-in' that brings the balloons from off the field back onto it for the Lynn Layton Key Grab.
In this race, the balloons must fly a pre-set distance, usually three miles, and attempt to navigate back to the field in order to grab a ring from the top of a tall pole. A secondary goal is to drop a bean-bag marker at the center of an 'X' that is also laid-out at the pole.
This event tests a pilots knowlege of wind navigation at varying altitudes and their ability to plot themselves back to the event field.
Sunday Evening - Fun Flight, Tethers and Fireworks
During Sunday afternoon balloon pilots are assigned to statis displays or are given the opportunity to fly. One half of our 60 ballons are asked to stay at the jubilee field for the glow and one-half is allowed to fly (this is usually a switch from those asked the day-before).
Once twilight begins the balloons will discontinue in prepration for the evening musical acts and the fireworks show.
When to See the Balloons
Events are early and late in the day. The best time to arrive at the field is before 6:00am for morning and 5:00pm for evening.
Get Close to the Balloons
The Alabama Jubilee is one of the few balloon events that allows the public to walk on the field.
The public is encouraged to ask pilots questions and to get close to the balloons.
Please remember to follow the rules and comply with all pilot requests.
Would you like to get involved and crew for a balloon? See our crewing information on the 'For Pilots & Crew' page.
Ballons & Weather
The best times for balloon flights are early in the morning and late in the afternoon because, at those times, the winds are calmest and most predictable.
Balloon inflations and flights are often canceled, delayed, or postposed due to weather.
Please see our event announcements page for more informaiton on these happenings.