Keep Your Eyes on the Skies this Weekend in Jackson Michigan!

Join in Jackson

The Jackson Hot Air Jubilee returns to Jackson Michigan this weekend! 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 in Jackson.
photo courtesy

About the 2021 Jackson Hot Air Jubilee

The 2021 Jackson Hot Air Jubilee will take place July 23-25 at Ella Sharp Park. Balloons are scheduled to launch:

  • Friday evening (from Ella Sharp Park),
  • Saturday morning (launch site TBD),
  • Saturday evening (from Ella Sharp Park),
  • and Sunday morning (launch site TBD).

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 2021 Jackson Hot Air Jubilee’s Facebook page.

The pilots will not fly until after they meet for a mandatory safety briefing. These start at 6:15 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. Therefore, we will NOT make an announcement regarding the status of the flights until after the meetings, which generally last 15 to 30 minutes. We understand many people are traveling long distances to attend the event but we simply are unable to verify the flight status until just before the scheduled lift off time. We appreciate your patience and understanding that these rules must be followed.
– Hot Air Jubilee, Facebook post on 7/13/21

The festival will be open to the public from 4pm to 10 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Please plan to enter the park through the Fourth St entrance.
photo courtesy Hot Air Jubilee

2021 Hot Air Jubilee Schedule of Events in Jackson Michigan

More than 25 hot air balloons will fill the skies over the course of the weekend, and there will be lots of excitement on the ground as well.

Jackson Blues Festival

Combining with the Hot Air Jubilee in Jackson this summer, the Jackson Blues Festival will take place on center stage on Friday, Jul 23, 2021 starting at 4pm in Ella Sharp Park.

Kids Kingdom

One of the biggest highlights of the Jackson Hot Air Jubilee is the Kids Kingdom carnival at Ella Sharp Park. This year’s game are free to play, and kids of all ages are welcome from 4pm to 8pm on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Balloon Illumination Night Glow

Weather-permitting, the hot air balloons will return to Ella Sharp Park each evening at dusk for a balloon illumination night glow on the launch field.

Jackson Michigan Car Show

Car enthusiasts will enjoy walking around and checking out the classic cars and hot rods at the Jackson Michigan car show as part of the 2021 Jackson Hot Air Jubilee festival on Saturday, July 24, from 4pm to 6pm.
photo courtesy of Hot Air Jubilee

More About the 2021 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!
photo courtesy

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.

More to Do Near the Jackson Hot Air Jubilee in 2021

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.

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 in 2021, you might want to stay a night or two to maximize your Jackson festival experience! Here are a few of our top recommendations of places to stay in Jackson Michigan:
photo courtesy

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 2021 Hot Air Jubilee in Jackson Michigan.

What is the price of admission?

Admission to the 2021 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.

2015 Hot Air Jubilee Jackson Michigan balloon launch photos courtesy of

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