The Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic has been flying for 36 years in Decatur, Ala. entertaining locals and visitors with free family fun. Always Memorial Day weekend, the Alabama Jubilee is a two-day celebration filled with hot air balloons, live music, tractors, arts and crafts and many other activities. This year’s event is set for May 24-25, 2014 and in between Alabama Jubilee activities, festivalgoers are encouraged to take a dip and cool off at the Point Mallard Waterpark.
The Memorial Day celebration begins bright and early on Saturday, May 24th at 6:30 a.m. with the Hare and Hound Balloon Race. Saturday’s activities include an antique car show, arts and crafts show, and the Southland Flywheelers will host a tractor show featuring some of the best restored and maintained tractors in the Southeast, engine demonstrations, a tractor parade, pedal tractor pull, and tractor games. At dusk, the Balloon Glow is a must see as towering balloons of all colors light up Point Mallard Park.
Another round of friendly competition between the hot air balloon pilots is scheduled for Sunday, May 25th beginning at 6:30 a.m. with the Lynn Layton Chevrolet Hot-Air Balloon Key Grab Race. Sunday’s activities include an arts and crafts show and a military tribute for fallen soldiers. For those who want to experience the magic of a balloon ride, free tethered rides are offered from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and a spectacular fireworks show is set to launch at 9:30 p.m.
Live music fills the air both evenings and the Decatur Art Guild arts and crafts show offering only original works will be open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday in the Pavilion.
Free parking will be available at Wolverine Park and GE with shuttle service to Point Mallard Park from 4 to 10 p.m. for a nominal fee each way. Admission to the Alabama Jubilee is free. Please note all balloon activities are weather permitting.
Picnic blankets and lawn chairs are encouraged. All activities take place in Point Mallard Park, a 750-acre municipal park providing year round recreation facilities in Decatur, Ala. For more information and a schedule of events, visit www.alabamajubilee.net.
Opening day for the Point Mallard Waterpark is Saturday, May 24th. With plenty of water action, the waterpark offers a welcoming reprieve from the warm temperatures summer brings. The Waterpark is open daily beginning May 24 to August 10 with hours 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. all other days. General admission is $20 for adults (ages 12-61 years old), $15 for youth (ages 5 to 11 years old), $15 for seniors (62+) and military, with half price days offered Monday through Thursday (excluding holidays). For more information, visit www.pointmallardpark.com or call 256.341.4900.
The best seat for viewing the Alabama Jubilee’s firework show may be from the water. The Pickwick Belle is offering an Alabama Jubilee Fireworks Dinner Cruise on May 25th. Departing from Ingalls Harbor at 8 p.m., the cruise offers a hearty barbeque meal while making its way along Wheeler Lake to Point Mallard. Steve Hopper will entertain with his “Floribbean-style” music (a mix of Florida and Caribbean) before and after the fireworks show. A cash bar will be available and complimentary patriotic party favors will be provided. Cost is $54.99 per person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 877.936.2355. For more information, visit www.pickwickbelle.net/cruise-schedules/.