About Balloon Events
Balloon Events & Tasks
The Alabama Jubilee balloon events consists of four balloon activites.
Each morning there is a 'task' (often refered to as a 'race') that is a competition flight for the balloonists. In the evenings there are on-the-field balloon activities for spectaters to get close to the balloons as well as fun-flights that do-not involve competition.
Saturday Morning - Morgan County Comission Hare & Hound Task.
During the task one ballon designated as the 'hare' will launch before the others. After the launch an air-horn is blown to signal the other balloons that they are allowed to inflate and launch. Once in the air they try to follow the first balloon.
After a time the fist ballon will land and put-out a large fabric 'X' on which the following balloons will try to drop a bean-bag marker onto the center. Whoever is closest wins.
Late risers or spectaters that enjoy a chase can follow this balloon and watch the others drop on the X. However if you do-so please follow all traffic laws, be mindful of private property and balloon crews trying to conduct operations.
Saturday Evening - Fun Flight, Tethers, & Balloon Glow
During Saturday afternoon balloon pilots are assigned to either tether and glow or are given the opportunity to fly. One half of our 60 ballons are asked to stay at the jubilee field for the tether / glow and one-half is allowed to fly.
Once twilight begins the balloons will discontinue any tethering so that we can 'glow' the balloons in the dark lighting up all the beautifl colors for spectators to see. It is a truely magical sight.
Sunday Morning - Lynn Layton Key Grab Task
Sunday morning the competition task is a 'fly-in' that brings the balloons from off-the-feild back onto it for the Lynn Layton Key Grab.
In this race, the balloons must go our a pre-set distance, usually three miles, and attempt to navigate back to the field in order to attempt to grab a ring from the top of a tall pole and / or drop a bean-bag marker at the center of an 'X' that is also laied-out at the pole.
This event tests a pilots knowlege of winds at varying altitues and their ability to plot themselves back to the event field.
Sunday Evening - Fun Flight, Tethers and Fireworks
During Sunday afternoon balloon pilots are assigned to tether or are given the opportunity to fly. One half of our 60 ballons are asked to stay at the jubilee field for the tether and one-half is allowed to fly (this is usually a switch from the hose asked the day-before).
Once twilight begins the balloons will discontinue in prepration for the evening musical ask and the fireworks show.
When to See the Balloons
Events are early and late in the day. The best time to arrive at the field is before 6:00am for morning and 5:00pm for evening.
Get Close to the Balloons
The Alabama Jubilee is one of the few balloon events that allows the public to walk on the field.
The public is encouraged to ask pilots questions and to get close to the balloons.
Please remember to follow the rules and comply with all pilot requests.
Would you like to get involved and crew for a balloon? See our crewing informaiton on the 'For Pilots & Crew' page.
Ballons & Weather
The best times for balloon flights are early in the morning and late in the afternoon because, at those times, the winds are calmest and most predictable.
However ballon flights are often cancled, delayed, postposed, or even re-scheudled for a number of reasons.
Please see our event announcements page for more informaiton on these happenings.