Alabama Jubilee

Filed UnderMoCo Blog

I love summer! It is my absolute favorite season. I love the long days of being outside. I love sipping lemonade on the deck. I even love the heat, but I also love swimming to cool off. Summer is just laid back and fun and a whole different vibe than the other seasons. And when the Alabama Jubilee happens Memorial Day weekend, I know summer has officially kicked off! 


I’ve been going to the Alabama Jubilee for so many years I’ve lost count. This super fun festival is the beginning of fun, fun, and more summer fun. This festival has been going on now for 44 years, and it just gets more exciting each year.  


I live close to Point Mallard Park, so if I rise early enough I can see the hot air balloons take off for their early morning Hound & Hare flight on Saturday. It’s always been so cool to just randomly look in the sky and see these majestic balloons floating around town.  


For me, I love beginning Jubilee weekend on Saturday by spending the day at Point Mallard Water Park since it’s opening day, and I’ve missed being at the Park every day since Labor Day when it closed for the season! Haha! I spend the day basking in the sun, cooling off in the wave pool, reading a good book, and making mental plans as to how I’ll spend the days in my fave season. After several hours of sun, I go home, shower, and head back to the Park for the Jubilee. Another perk of living close by! 


Hanging out with friends and family is the best part of the Jubilee. We always meet up and set up our chairs and blankets and, of course, snacks! From there, we branch out into the area where the vendors are, looking for some good food from the food trucks that always line the midway. You can never go wrong with some fresh-squeezed lemonade, too!  


In the past when my niece was younger, we would buy sheets of tickets and play every game and do all the things in the kid’s area. There are always the best inflatables for climbing, jumping, and playing. The bungee jump is a favorite for kids, but my niece’s favorite game is the baseball toss where you test how fast you can throw. She always won lots of prizes at that! 


Once you’ve eaten all the food and played all the games, you better get back to your chairs and blankets for the balloon glow! This is my absolute favorite part of the Jubilee every year! The balloons are vibrant and colorful during the day, but when they light up at night it is next level amazing! There’s a countdown to the glow, which just adds to the anticipation. The energy of the crowd during the balloon glow is electric! The traditional balloons are so pretty with all their bright colors on them, but the character balloons add some cool quirkiness to the group. In the past, there’s been Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Tom and Jerry, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and more. And when they light up, they’re even more amazing! So fun! 

And the fun doesn’t end on Saturday! The Alabama Jubilee continues on Sunday with live music, food, games, balloons, and fireworks to cap off the festival Sunday night. The Alabama Jubilee is such an exciting event that locals love and people drive from out of state to come and see. This 44-year-old tradition is one that I am so thankful Decatur keeps going year after year, and I cannot wait for this year’s Jubilee! 


Pro tips: 

  • It’s free to listen to the live music and see the balloons. 
  • Take cash to purchase tickets for games and food. This is the only way to purchase items at the Jubilee. 
  • Bring your foldable chairs and blankets for watching the balloon glow and listening to the live music. 
  • You can take outside food and drinks in coolers, so grab your fave snacks to take. 
  • Parking is free, but it fills up fast, so arrive early to get a good spot or be prepared to walk. 
  • There are a lot of portable potties to use at the Jubilee. 
  • Wear comfortable shoes.