Executive Officers
  • President – Deb Miller
  • Vice President – Kathy Weaver
  • Treasurer – Brian Dial
  • Recording Secretary – Lynn Gentry
  • Corresponding Secretary – Shelley Sedlak
  • Sergeant-at-Arms - Sissy O'Dell
Board of Directors
  • John Barnette
  • Ramona Evans
  • Ken Garner
  • Mike Wahl
  • AJ McCloud
  • Lucas Roberts
  • Balloonmeister - Kathy Weaver
  • Assistant Balloonmeister - Luara Stewart
  • Banners & Signs - Deb Miller
  • Entertainment - Rhonda Blackwell & A.J. McCloud
  • Food and Merchandise Vendors - Devon Richardson
  • T-shirts and Promo Items - Stephanie Barnette & Amanda Lindsey
  • Public Safety - John Barnette
  • Public Relations - A.J. McCloud
  • Field Operations - Tommy Odell
  • Sponsorships -  Seth Campell & Mike Wahl
  • Program - Cathy D. Wahl
  • Hospitality - Sissy Odell
  • Judges - Sonny Wright
  • Website - Robbie Wahl
Committee Members
Additional committee members listed by position above.
  • Bob & Barbara Appleby, emeritus
  • Joe Betterton
  • Grayson Burgess
  • Lexi Chadwick
  • Brady Dial
  • Abby Ferrell
  • John Glasscock
  • Jack Gressman
  • Alyssa Harrison
  • Andy Harrison
  • Sandra Harrison
  • Jennifer Hempfling
  • Vickie Howard
  • Connie Hulsey
  • Emily MacDonald
  • Tiana Minor
  • Gary Narmore
  • Carl Overton
  • Lisa Riley
  • Bobby Simmons
  • Ethan Stewart
  • Art Thrash, emeritus
  • Jane Train
  • Robert Train
  • Becky Turner
  • Clay Turner
  • Barbara Wright
  • Jennifer Wright
Balloon Target Judges
  • Tammy Dinker
  • Frank Blackwell
  • Michael Buchanan
  • Briar Duff (honorary)
  • John Glasscock
  • Jack Gressman
  • Rebecca Gressman
  • Richard Humphrey
  • Jennifer Wright
  • Sonny Wright, head judge

The Early Years

The Alabama Jubilee Hot-Air Balloon Classic is the oldest hot-air balloon race in the mid-South. It started in Decatur, Alabama in 1978.

The sport of Hot-Air Ballooning had come to Decatur only a few years prior.  The City of Decatur had decided to purchase a hot-air balloon but now needed pilots to fly it. So the salesman of the balloon agreed to train three pilots to fly the city's new balloon.

A few years later the sport of ballooning had taken off in the city and there were several well known pilots living in the area. Craving the competition and festival atmosphere provided at other ballon rallies, 17 balloonists from Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana got together with a handful of other volunteers and started the Alabama Jubilee.

Initially the Jubilee also served as a showcase for the new Decatur balloon, one of the first hot air balloons to represent a city, and as an event to kick off Alabama's tourism season. Today, the Jubilee draws about 60 pilots from 20 states for two days of competition during the annual Memorial Day holiday weekend and serves not only as a showcase for the City of Decatur but as a must-attend community event that draws visitors for all over the country.

The continued popularity of the Alabama Jubilee prompted the Alabama Legislature to designate the City of Decatur as the “Ballooning Capital of Alabama.” The Jubilee has also been named a Top 20 Tourism Event in the Southeast for May by the Atlanta-based Southeast Tourism Society.

Thank You from the Alabama Jubilee!

Thanks to our numerous helpers, friends, business and personal contributors:

  • Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association
  • Apple Lane Farms
  • Frank Blackwell
  • Chick-Fil-A of Decatur
  • City of Decatur
  • Civil Air Patrol, Hartselle Wing AL 134
  • Cook's Museum of Natural Science
  • CVS Pharmacy, Beltline Road
  • Decatur Church of Christ
  • Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling
  • Decatur-Morgan Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Decatur Fire and Rescue Department
  • Decatur Parks and Recreation Department
  • Decatur Police Department
  • Decatur Morgan County Chamber of Commerce
  • Nick Johnston, Johnston RV
  • Mark Moody, MarMac Real Estate
  • Morgan County EMTs
  • Morgan County Sheriff Ron Puckett, Morgan County Sheriff's Department
  • Polaris Corporation
  • Pugh, Wright, McAnnally
  • Suburban Propane
  • Texas Roadhouse
  • United Community Bank