The skies over Hudson, Wis., will be filled with a colorful array of more than three dozen hot-air balloons next weekend as part of the city's 24th annual Hot Air Affair celebration.

The massive balloon launches taking place at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the E.P. Rock School grounds are the focal points of a full slate of events that kick off Friday, including a torchlight parade that begins at 7 p.m. downtown, followed by fireworks over Lakefront Park and the St. Croix River.

In keeping with this year's "Majestic Flyway" theme, the Minnesota Kite Society will offer demonstrations and kite fighting from noon to 3 p.m., and the University of Minnesota Raptor Center will hold an educational program at 2 p.m.

At 6:30 p.m., balloons will be set aglow in a "field of fire."

Most spectator events are free. The balloon launches are contingent on good weather conditions. For more information, go to the event's website at