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Don’t Miss the 2024 Jackson Hot Air Jubilee | July 19-21

The Jackson Hot Air Jubilee returns to Jackson Michigan this summer! We’re excited to see balloons filling up our city’s skies once again and to enjoy the festivities and carnival atmosphere that descends on Ella Sharp Park during this annual event featuring hot air balloons in Jackson Michigan.

hot air jubilee - inflating balloons

About the 2024 Jackson Hot Air Jubilee

The 2024 Jackson Hot Air Jubilee will take place July 19-21 at Ella Sharp Park. Balloons are scheduled to launch every twelve hours or so from 7pm Thursday night to 7am Sunday morning.

Each launch will be preceded by a pilots’ meeting at 6:15 (am or pm – depending on the launch), and details will be made available on the 2024 Jackson Hot Air Jubilee’s Facebook page.

Please understand that we are an outdoor event and that the schedule may need to change due to weather. All balloon launches are weather permitting and the times are subject to change based on the weather. Our Flight Information page will be kept up to date during the event with information on flights.

Hot Air Jubilee event schedule

The festival will be open to the public from 43 pm to 10 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Please plan to enter the park through the Fourth St entrance.

2021 jackson hot air jubilee map

The family-friendly event has activities for everyone! Guests will enjoy a variety of entertainment attractions, and of course, beautiful Ella Sharp Park. Traditional festival activities will also be added throughout the property during the festival weekend featuring children’s activities at Kids Kingdom, artesian and food vendors, live music, and (weather permitting) balloon glows, and balloons in flight!

Festival admission is free with select activities available for an additional charge, including helicopter rides, human hamster balls and admission to Ella Sharp Museum. Thanks to sponsors Henry Ford Health and the Jackson Eagles parking will be FREE throughout the weekend.

More About the 2024 Hot Air Jubilee in Jackson Michigan

We’ve loved following the Hot Air Jubilee’s Facebook page this summer to learn more about this beloved Jackson Michigan event. Here are some of the fun things we’ve learned:

  • Before every flight, pilots gather for a mandatory briefing where they are given weather information and the competition task for the flight.
  • They are told of locations of targets and whether the flight is a “fly in task” and the pilots must launch from a location a certain distance away from the target.
  • Pilots are provided a marker (a baggie with a 6-foot tail) to throw at the target while flying past it.
  • There are more than 20 different tasks outlined in the Balloon Federation of America’s competition rule book.
  • The pilot who scores the most points (closest to center on the most targets) wins!
hot air jubilee - inflating special interest

The History of the Hot Air Jubilee in Jackson Michigan

In 1983, a group of Jackson area hot air balloon enthusiasts dreamed up the idea of a family-friendly event for the Jackson Michigan community. It was then that the Hot Air Jubilee was born.

Since then, the Jubilee has developed into an annual summer event that attracts tens of thousands of people from all over Michigan and the surrounding states. More than 25 hot air balloons arrive from all across the country to compete in the friendly competition.

hot air jubilee - jackson balloon festival

More to Do Near the Jackson Hot Air Jubilee

The Hot Air Jubilee is hosted at Ella Sharp Park each summer, making it convenient for guests to enjoy the surrounding area’s attractions and amenities.

Ella Sharp Park

The 562-acre property is located along the Grand River and offers numerous activities. Playgrounds can be found on both ends of the park, as well as picnic tables and shelters. There’s a challenging 18-hole golf course, an 18-hole disc golf course, and a miniature golf course providing a variety for everyone in the family.

Ella Sharp Museum

Opened in 1965, the Ella Sharp Museum resides in a Victorian home and features changing exhibits of Jackson history and art. Despite its small size, it has plenty of things to see and several hands-on children’s activities.

Hurst Planetarium

Managed by the Ella Sharp Museum, Hurst Planetarium uses a state-of-the-art OmniStar projector to provide public astronomy shows under the 30-foot dome. The Planetarium hosts live star shows, virtual night sky tours, private planetarium events and shows, night sky observing activities, and serves as a virtual classroom resource.

Ella Sharp Golf Course, Driving Range, and Mini-Golf

Along with offering traditional park features and trails, Ella Sharp Park has 562 acres and courses for golf, disc golf, and mini-golf. The grounds are well-maintained and the holes are laid out nicely.

hot air jubilee - jackson balloon festival

Places to Eat Near Ella Sharp Park

Some of the best restaurants in Jackson Michigan are within a 5-10 minute drive of Ella Sharp Park, including many downtown Jackson restaurants. A few of our favorites include Dirty Bird, Metropolitan, and Fortress Cafe.

Best Places to Stay in Jackson Michigan

If you’re coming to Jackson for the Hot Air Jubilee, you might want to stay a night or two to maximize your Jackson festival experience! Here are a few of our top recommendations for places to stay in Jackson Michigan:

hot air balloons flying over jackson

Jackson Hot Air Jubilee FAQ

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Jackson Hot Air Jubilee:

Can I get a hot air balloon ride?

Rides are not available during the Hot Air Jubilee. However, we put together a list of pilots that do flights! If you would like to do a private flight before or after the event, you are welcome to reach out to one of these amazing pilots for their pricing and schedule a flight!

How much does parking cost?

Thanks to the generosity of Tripp’s Auto Shop & Collision Center, parking is free for the 2023 Hot Air Jubilee in Jackson Michigan.

What is the price of admission?

Admission to the Jackson Hot Air Jubilee Festival is free, but you’ll want to have cash on hand for the craft and food vendors and other on-site activities and attractions.

Hot Air Jubilee Photos

Hot Air Jubilee Jackson Michigan balloon launch photos courtesy of

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