The 2019 Hudson Hot Air Affair, Hudson's annual winter festival and hot air balloon rally, is set for Feb. 1-3. Sponsored by WESTconsin Credit Union, the Hot Air Affair is celebrating 30 years with a "Pirates Fly'n the Croix-ribbean" theme.

The hot air balloons are the highlight of the event, offering a colorful show with mass ascension flights of 30+ hot air balloons (weather permitting) at E.P. Rock school grounds in Hudson. There will be many returning favorite balloons, including the Rubber Duckie sponsored by WESTconsin Credit Union and the Re/Max balloon, as well as some new pilots and balloon.

While the balloon launches on Saturday and Sunday offer a colorful show, HAA isn't just a spectator event. There are a variety of activities to experience throughout the Hot Air Affair, including some pre-events coming this week.

On Friday, Jan. 11, 6:30-9:30 p.m. there is a kick off fundraiser meat raffle at Big Guys BBQ Roadhouse. Proceeds will support bringing the Peg Leg Pete the Pirate Parrot hot air balloon to Hudson.

There are two events on Saturday, Jan. 12. County Market will host a countdown event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to celebrate the Pirates Fly'n the Croix-ribbean theme. See the hot air balloon basket. And kids can pick up coloring sheets of balloons.

The YMCA Camp St. Croix will hold a candlelight hike and ski at the Day Croix on Jan. 12 from 5-8 p.m. This free event is sponsored by PCK Foundation. Candle-lit trails for cross-country skiing and hiking along with trail side fires for quick warm ups and complimentary refreshments will be provided by Art Doyle's Spokes & Pedals.

Another fundraiser is set for Monday, Jan. 14 at the Hudson Jimmy John's. Join us from 4-8 p.m. and help support the Hot Air Affair.

On Saturday, Jan. 19, Dicks Bar and Grill will host its annual breakfast crafts for kids from 9-11 a.m. Come have breakfast, see a hot air balloon basket and celebrate the 2019 Hot Air Affair with this free art event for the kids.

If you are interested in learning how to crew for a hot air balloon (set up, launch, deflate and pack up), there is a Crew School will be held 1;3 p.m. Jan. 19 at E.P. Rock Elementary School. The class will be presented by Stillwater Balloon and is open to adults and teenagers. The cost is $5 per person or $10 per family. Pre-register by Jan. 16 at Hudson Community Education.

On Saturday, Jan. 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Family Fresh will host a Fun at the Fair event. 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 HAA 2019. A Pirate Treasure Hunt will kick off at 10 a.m. with the first clue presented at Family Fresh Market; clues will also be on Hot Air Affair Facebook every day. The hunt winner wins a $100 gift certificate prize from Family Fresh Market.

The Phipps Center for the Arts will host a family day activity on Saturday, Jan.26, from 1-3 p.m. At this free event adults and children of all ages can create neotropical migratory bird costumes to wear in the quirky and fun "Pirates Fly'n the Croix-ribbean" Torchlight Parade on Feb. 1. Co-sponsored by Tropical Wings, a non-profit that promotes awareness of birds and supports habitat conservation. No registration required.

The annual Taste of Hot Air Affair: Pirates Fly'n the Croix-ribbean Edition is set for Saturday, Jan. 26, from 7-10:30 p.m. at the Hudson House Grand Hotel. This event is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank-Hudson and Keller Williams Realty Integrity WI/MN-Herg Group-Mary Yacoub. Enjoy spirits, wine and beer tastings, along with appetizers, decadent chocolates and artisan cheeses. Live music by Boondoggle, a silent auction and wine pull. Proceeds from this event will be donated to American Cancer Society.

Grand Fête will offer a Caribbean cooking class on Sunday, Jan. 27, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Some of the most exciting and flavorful dishes come from the Caribbean. Explore this amazing cuisine and transport your taste buds to the tropics. Register online at or in person.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, a Hot Air Affair Canvas Party Painting Class with Audrey Martin will be held at Urban Olive & Vine, featuring the "Pirates Fly'n the Croix-ribbean" theme. The cost is $45 for class and supplies with additional cost for food and beverages. Attendees must pre-register at

The 30th annual Hudson Hot Air Affair is coordinated entirely by volunteers. For complete schedule details, visit or Facebook for the latest details.