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Hot Air Affair pre-events kick off this weekend

WESTconsin Credit Union is the corporate sponsor of the Hudson Hot Air Affair. Many of the WESTconsin Credit Union representatives are wearing the new Hot Air Affair shirts which will be available for purchase during the event. (Front row, from left): Marki Thompson, Bri Klaren, Maria Harp, Lori Rayome; (back: Deanna Grigus, Maria Schmitt, Terri Huckabee, Emma Andersen, Heather King, Sandy Kloetzke, Mary Behling, Kyle Hayes and Sharon Young. Submitted photo

In 2019, the 30th annual Hot Air Affair will be celebrated Feb. 1-3, with a schedule packed full of winter fun, spectacular balloon flights and family friendly activities in Hudson. The Hot Air Affair could not happen without the continued support of its 10-year corporate sponsor WESTconsin Credit Union—as well as over 100 local balloon and event sponsors.

This weekend several Hot Air Affair pre-events are planned, starting on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with the Fun at the Fair Event at Family Fresh Market in Hudson. Learn about the St. Croix County Fair, enjoy food sampling and register to win prizes, including a balloon ride in the Family Fresh hot air balloon during this year's Hot Air Affair.

A new Pirate Treasure Hunt has been added in 2019 and will kick off with the first clue at 10 a.m. at Family Fresh Market. Clues will be released each morning at Family Fresh Market in Hudson and on the Hot Air Affair Facebook page. The Hunt winner gets a $100 gift certificate prize from Family Fresh Market.

The Phipps Center for the Arts will host a Family Day activity this Saturday from 1-3 p.m. Adults and children of all ages can create neotropical migratory bird "costumes" to wear in the Torchlight Parade on Friday, Feb. 1.

Another big event on Saturday is the annual Taste of Hot Air Affair Fundraiser from 7-10:30 p.m. Celebrate the Pirates Fly'n the Croix-ribbean theme at the Hudson House Grand Hotel. Enjoy spirits, wine and beer tastings, appetizers, decadent chocolates and artisan cheeses, live music by Boondoggle, with a silent auction, and wine pull fundraisers for the American Cancer Society.

On Sunday, Jan. 27 Grand Fête will hold a Caribbean cooking class. Learn more and register at

On Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 6 p.m. there is a Canvas Party Painting Class with Audrey Martin at Urban Olive & Vine. The class will paint a picture of Ozzie the Parrot. Learn more and register at

Hudson Hot Air Affair is set for Feb. 1-3, with a weekend full of family friendly events including: the torchlight parade and fireworks on Friday, hot air balloon launches on Saturday and Sunday, the Moon Glow or Field of Fire, Market Place and Craft Fair, Up, Up & Away 5K Run/Walk, Smooshboarding Competition, Pirate Treasure Drop, Hudson Booster Bingo, A Chili Cook-Off, Fishing Derby and many more events.

Visit the Hot Air Affair website at, or find us on Facebook, for a complete schedule of events. In addition to details about all of the events, you will find a list of all of the sponsors who generously support the Hot Air Affair, and a list of the 30+ balloons who will be coming to Hudson for this annual balloon rally and winter festival. Hot Air Affair brochures with event details are available at local businesses and the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau office.