The 29th annual Hudson Hot Air Affair celebration has been moved one week earlier, to Jan. 26-28, 2018. This fun-filled winter festival and hot air balloon rally changed its date due to the Super Bowl taking place in Minneapolis. With football in mind, the 2018 Hot Air Affair theme is "Touchdown Hudson XXIX" with several football-related activities during the event.

The Hot Air Affair will once again feature over 30 hot air balloons and special shape balloons in mass ascension flight (weather permitting) at E.P. Rock Elementary. There will be many returning favorite balloons, as well as some new pilots and balloons.

While the balloon launches on Saturday and Sunday offer a colorful show, HAA isn't just a spectator event. There is a varied selection of activities throughout the weekend to experience, including several pre-events for individual or family participation.

Starting on Sunday, Jan. 7, Hot Air Affair will hold a Family Fun Day at the Ice Castles in Stillwater. Come check out the fire of hot air balloon burners at the ice spectacular and meet the Snow Queen and her Royal Guard from 3-6 p.m. Use a Hot Air Affair Discount Code: icecub18 at for a $2 off admission.

On Saturday, Jan. 13, Hudson's County Market will host a countdown event that celebrates the "Touchdown Hudson XXIX" theme. Stop in from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and see a hot air balloon basket and kids can pick up balloon coloring sheets.

Also, from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, there will be a Candlelight Hike and Ski at the YMCA Camp St. Croix's north property (DayCroix), sponsored by PCK Foundation. Candlelit 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.

A Canvas Party Painting Class with Audrey Martin will be 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17, at Belle Vinez Winery, 10829 875th Ave., south of Hudson. The class will feature a painting of "Scarlett's Petticoat" balloon. The cost is $45 for class and supplies, additional cost for food and beverages. Pre-register at

The kids can get a start on Hot Air Affair from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, with Breakfast Crafts for Kids at Dick's Bar and Grill at 111 Walnut St. Come have breakfast, see a hot air balloon basket and celebrate the 2018 Hot Air Affair with a free art event for the kids.

Family Fresh Market will host a Hot Air Affair Fun at the Fair event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20. 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 the 2018 HAA.

The Phipps Center for the Arts will hold a family day activity 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20. 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.

Starting Friday, Jan. 26-Feb. 28, PressEnter! will hold its annual Hot Air Affair photo contest. Submit your best photos of any HAA event and you could win a prize. Send to 421 N. Second St., River Falls or email to Details at

The Hudson Hot Air Affair is full of family-friendly activities and events. The HAA brochures with event details are available at local businesses and the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau office. Visit for a complete event schedule. The Hot Air Affair Facebook page has the latest news and pictures of countdown and HAA weekend events.

This year's brochure also has money saving coupons from Chicone's Liquor Mart, County Market, Dilly Dally in the Alley, Fairfield Inn, Family Fresh Market, the Hudson House Grand Hotel, Ice Castles Stillwater, Learning RX, the Smilin' Moose and The 715.