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Hot air balloons fly south of the city of Hudson Saturday morning, Feb. 2, after launching from the grounds of E.P. Rock Elementary School.

Hot Air Affair has a successful launch Saturday morning

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About 30 hot air balloons lifted off from the grounds of E.P. Rock Elementary School shortly after 7:30 a.m. Saturday.

While the temperature hovered around 0 degrees, a light north breeze made for a successful launch of the 24th annual Hudson Hot Air Affair.

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The balloons traveled south, with the "Air Forge" piloted by Mike Reinert of Alta, Iowa, landing between County F and Carlson Lane in the town of Troy. Sally Shepherd of North Hudson, the digital media director for the Star-Observer, was aboard the Air Forge.

Hundreds of spectators turned out to watch the launch.

It was also bitterly cold - and snowing - for the Hot Air parade through downtown Hudson Friday night. Nevertheless, a sizeable crowded came to watch the balloon pilots shoot fire from their propane burners into the night air.

Hot Air activities continue throughout the day and night Saturday. Another launch will take place at 3 p.m., if the air conditions allow it. The moon glow or field of fire is at 6:30 p.m.

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