HUDSON, Wis. — After an awful, terrible, brutal, cold week, last weekend was a great excuse to get outside and finally get some fresh air.

It seems the Hudson Hot Air Affair happened at the perfect time, because it gave thousands of people something bright and uplifting to watch.

This was the 30th year of the Hudson Hot Air Affair, a winter ballooning event that you can't miss, literally, if you're driving over the St. Croix River at some point during the weekend.

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I went to the balloon launch on Saturday morning at E.P. Rock Elementary School.

By the time I got there (just after 8:00 a.m.), a majority of the hot air balloons were already in the sky. Yeah, I should have set my alarm earlier, but I still made it in time to watch a half-dozen launch, including Uncle Sam and a giant parrot.

Carla Timmerman, the treasurer of the event, told me that there were 35 balloons launched, including one from Texas!

You don't have to be a great photographer, or even a photographer at all, to capture this event. Just look up, point your smartphone and capture these brilliant balloons.

These launches are very dependent upon the weather. Timmerman told me that this year they had to cancel two launches because of low visibility. So, hopefully they have better luck next year. Speaking of, mark you calendars for Feb. 7-9, 2020.

What is your favorite outdoor spot to visit during the winter in Minnesota and western Wisconsin? Let me know and I'll add it to my Photo Stop list.

Here's how to contact me:

Email: emccardle@kare11.com

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