The annual Alabama Hot Air Balloon Festival is one of the biggest official events held in Alabama.
It is organized in the month of May every year at Point mallard Park in Decatur, on the Memorial Day weekend. As the name suggests hot air balloons are the highlight of the event. Balloons from the length and breadth of America gather here for an evening filled with fun and entertainment. The festival also features various ballooning events, antique car show, art show, Antique tractor show, kite festival, food and fireworks coupled with live entertainment.
The Alabama Hot Air Balloon Festival is one of the oldest balloon race held in this part of the country. Decatur happened to be the residence of many hot air balloon pilots. Thus, the first festival was held in the year 1978 by these pilots and the tradition has continued ever since. Apart from Alabama, balloonists from Kentucky, Ohio, Mississippi, Georgia and Louisiana gather here for the annual event. The event on an average attracts crowds in the volume of 50,000 to 100,000, for this weekend activity. Around 65 balloons from all around the south-east United States are seen dotting the skyline on this day.
The rally strives to satisfy the cravings of ballooning enthusiasts from the USA for competitions such as this and also to provide a meeting place for them to enjoy the festivities that go with ballooning. The event has brought the name "Ballooning Capital of Alabama" to Decatur and the festival is among the top 20 events in South-east Tourism. If you are planning a holiday with your family then you can approach the location through Birmingham or Nashville, whichever is closer to you.