Hot Air Jubilee flies into Jackson this weekend


JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — Watching hot air balloons fly high the sky is a summer tradition in mid-Michigan.

This weekend thousands of people are set to descend on Ella Sharp Park in Jackson to see beautiful balloons take flight.

“They’re visually appealing and they’re fun to watch,” said Hot Air Jubilee Chairman Andy Merritt.

Friday morning the giant balloons came out for a preview of the 35th Annual Hot Air Jubilee.

Merritt says the event is low-cost fun for the whole family.

“There’s live entertainment. Obviously there are the balloons which are the big draw. But then there’s the kid’s kingdom that has carnival-style games for the kids to be able to play for free. There’s a car show, a tractor show, food vendors,” Merritt said.

Al Smith of Grass Lake has been coming to this event for over 20 years.

He’s the event’s balloon meister, meaning he oversees all aspects of ballooning at the jubilee including weather and safety.

Smith says the balloons inflate with the help of a propane-burner.

“The warmer air inside of the balloon is lighter than the surrounding air so that allows it to lift. And that’s how you get up into the air. Mishaps really are a rare thing for the number of flights that happen yearly,” Smith said.

Low clouds prevented the balloons from hitting the skies Friday morning.

When they set sail, the hot air balloons often go up over 3,000 feet.

“I just like the serene, tranquil feeling of getting to float in the air,” Smith said.

Hot air balloons are an old way to see the world, but they keep wowing new generations.

“There are not very many things like that in our society today,” Merritt said.

The Hot Air Jubilee runs all weekend, wrapping up Sunday morning.

Hot air balloon rides are not allowed for the general public.

However, vendors will be there to set up a ride for a later date.

Organizers say the best times to come and see the balloons take flight are around 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

For more information on the event visit this link:


JACKSON, Mich (WLNS) – There was a lot of hot air in Jackson this morning and that was a good thing.

The annual Hot Air Jubilee takes flight today at Ella Sharp Park.

Today’s group of hot air balloons were unable to leave the ground due to weather conditions but there was still a lot of things to see and do beginning tonight.

Ever since 1983 balloonists have been gathering in Ella Sharp Park to fly together and have fun.

Each year 25-30 balloonists will get together and thousands of fans join in the fun.

This year’s event will feature longtime Jubilee favorites such as Craft booths, the Kids Kingdom, Vendors, and an Auto Show.

There will also be opportunities to experience the Hurst Planetarium, Ella Sharp Museum, and the Mini Golf Course.

There is a $5 parking fee if you want to park inside of the park.

6 News Jackson bureau reporter Aaron Dimick is at the Hot Air Jubilee and he’ll update this story online and on 6 News.

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