By Rachel Ryder Buchanan
The Jackson Hot Air Jubilee is one of Jackson’s biggest annual events. If you’ve never been to the Hot Air Jubilee, you should know it’s more than just hot air. Balloon launches are scheduled for the morning and evening of Friday and Saturday, with a final Sunday morning launch. Night glows are also a popular way to view the balloons as they fire up their burners, illuminating their domes at dusk on the field. The festival features vendor booths for food and souvenirs, live family entertainment and carnival rides!
If you want an up-close view of the hot air balloons launching, here are the five “somethings” you’ll want to pack for the best experience at the event:
Something to Sit On
When you’re not enjoying the carnival rides, browsing the festival grounds or seeking treasures at the many vendor booths, you’ll find yourself in an area surrounded by dirt, gravel or grass. A camping or lawn chair is recommended. You can also perch on your favorite outdoor-friendly blanket.
Something for Your Stomach
Hot Air Jubilee vendors offer elephant ears, butterfly fries and frozen lemonade. You can also pack your own favorite snacks in an insulated bag or cooler. Bring a water bottle to stay hydrated! There are often hurry-up-and-wait instances as balloon pilots follow weather patterns to make launch decisions.
Something for the Sun
You might find yourself balloon watching in direct sun. Sunblock is recommended. Wear sunglasses or a hat to shade yourself. You might also consider applying bug spray to ward off mosquitoes.
Someone You Love
Bring a good friend to “ooh” and “ahh” at the beauty of the balloon launches with you. Cuddle next to your special someone during the night glow. Bring your family. Bring your neighbors. Allow yourself to share the magic of a balloon launch with the people you love. Plus, it’s a great way to show off our parks and festivals!
Photo Courtesy of Rachel Ryder Buchanan
Something to Capture the Memories
Charge up your smartphone and get ready to snap some pictures! Take it one step further. Bring your nicest camera. The beauty of the brightly colored balloons is enough in itself, but you won’t regret getting clear shots against the backdrop of the tall pines and blue sky. Local businesses often run Hot Air Jubilee photo contests! Share those pictures and brag about the memories you’ve made.
Best of all; The Hot Air Jubilee is a free event (thanks to Art Moehn Chevrolet). There is a minimal charge for parking on Ella Sharp Park’s grounds, but all spaces are nearby the festivities and marked clearly. All balloon launches are weather permitting.
Now that you have some information on what to bring to the Hot Air Jubilee, you can better prepare to get the most out of your experience. The Hot Air Jubilee is a longstanding tradition that highlights some of the best parts of what Jackson has to offer.
About the Author – Rachel Ryder Buchanan is the program director of 106.9 HOME.fm. She can be heard on-air daily and seen around the community with her husband (David) and son (DJ). A transplant from Monroe, MI, she chose to make her home in Jackson following her time as a student at Spring Arbor University. Her favorite part of the Jackson community is the size of the town and the opportunities she sees for Jackson during this exciting time of growth and innovation. She is passionate about connecting people to local information.