Thousands enjoy family fun during Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Despite a damp morning, thousands of people made their way to Point Mallard Park on Saturday for the annual Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic.

“The balloons didn’t go up because we got a little bit of rain,” Decatur Art Guild Arts & Crafts Show Chairman Carol Montgomery said.

Unfortunately, organizers said rain does impact the visitor turn out.

“They still show up, not quite as many,” Montgomery said.

Eddie Stanton with Sky Eyes hot air balloon team said the weather forced them to cancel the Hare and Hound Balloon Race.

“We were having clouds come in, rain and stuff,” Stanton said. “When clouds come in, balloons are like magnets, it sucks us right up into the clouds.”

Team members said they rely on weather briefings to decide whether to fly.

“If we have too high of winds, we can’t fly in that,” Stanton said. “It’s hard for us to get off the ground, hard for us to get our balloons inflated.”

Stanton added just because the weather on the ground is clear doesn’t mean the balloons will take off.

“The winds on the grounds could be real slow, but as you go up in the atmosphere the winds change at different angles and different speeds,” Stanton said.

Aside from the beloved hot air balloons, other activities brought people to the festival.

“We have the antique cars and tractors here,” Montgomery said. “We have fireworks, a balloon glow which I hear is very beautiful, I have to miss a lot because I’m here.”

Montgomery said she has volunteered her time to help other artists showcase their work at the festival for 39 years.

“It gives them a way to sell their things,” Montgomery said. “Some of it’s a hobby and some of it is actually, they make a living out of it.”

For a list of Sunday’s events, check out


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