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Hudson Hot Air Affair scenes

Like magic, after the Saturday 2:30 p.m. announcement that there would be a launch at 3 p.m., hundreds of people appeared on launch field at E.P. Rock Elementary School. About 30 hot-air balloons lifted off. Winds aloft were not strong, so most of them traveled only a short distance. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Margarent A. Ontl)1 / 7
The Peacock, piloted by Michael Lesmesiter, left, of Rochester, Minn., prepares for lift-off. Minuteman Press of Hudson sponsored the flight. Along for the ride were Sharisse Derby, center, a Hudson Star-Observer advertising assistant, and Jenna Wojan, a designer for Minuteman Press. Cindy Brown of Minuteman Press, right, served as a member of the crew. (Submitted photo by Jon Olevson) 2 / 7
Hot-air balloons lift off from the grounds of E.P. Rock Elementary School on Saturday afternoon. Thirty-five or more balloons participated in the successful launch of the 25th annual Hudson Hot Air Affair. Sharisse Derby of New Richmond took this picture from the “Peacock” balloon, piloted by Michael Lesmeister of Rochester, Minn. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Sharisse Derby)3 / 7
The temperature was near zero for Friday night’s Hot Air Affair parade, but it didn’t prevent hearty participants from riding and walking the route through downtown Hudson. Hot-air balloon pilots blasted a little less fire into the air due to the high price of propane. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Randy Hanson)4 / 7
Carla Timmerman, left, and Evy Nerbonne ride the grand marshal’s float, shared by other members of the original 1990 Hudson Hot Air Affair committee. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Randy Hanson)5 / 7
Two big shots bring up the rear of the parade. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Randy Hanson)6 / 7
Hudson Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Dabruzzi took second place in the Hot Air Affair Chili Cook-off at Dick's Bar & Grill on Sunday, Feb. 9. Daniel Peterson of Hudson took the prize for the most unusual chili. (Submitted photo)7 / 7

The 25th-annual Hudson Hot Air Affair celebration took place over the week-end of Feb. 7-9. By all accounts, a good time was had by those who participated in the many activities. The hot-air balloons made a successful launch on Saturday afternoon.