(READINGTON, NJ) -- The skies over New Jersey will be filled with balloons from around the world as the 34th annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Association with PNC Bank gets ready to take off. The three-day Festival, July 29-30-31, at Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ, features the awe-inspiring spectacle of 100 sport and special shaped hot air balloons taking to the skies over the scenic Hunterdon County countryside twice each day in mass ascensions. The festival features live music by Third Eye Blind, The Girl and the Dreamcatcher, KC and the Sunshine Band, John Kay & Steppenwolf, and Foghat.
The annual Festival is the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America and the premier family entertainment event in the Northeastern United States. It has been named the No. 1 Thing to Do in the state by New Jersey Monthly magazine.
New special shaped balloons include the 115-foot-tall QuickChek Farmer Pig balloon from Brazil, complete with blue overalls and weighing in at a trim 440 pounds.
Two new balloons that are sure to make you go “aaawwwww” are Puddles and Splash, a pair of adorable 90-foot-tall penguins from the United Kingdom that kiss in mid-flight. There’s also a brand new 85-foot-tall pelican; a 75-foot-tall, 500-pound Brazilian piranha; and a big white bear from Bimbo Bakeries.
Returning favorites include the 5-story tall PNC American Flag balloon, the largest free-flying flag in the world; the 100-foot-tall Unique Photo panda bear; the 80-foot-tall Pepsi football; and the 87-foot-tall Piko character balloon from Canada. In all, balloons are being flown by pilots from six countries.
And yes, you can go up, up and away in your beautiful balloon: more than 1,000 people will take a ride in a balloon at the Festival, crossing it off their bucket lists or using it to celebrate a special occasion or as a romantic way to propose!
The Festival’s hugely popular live concert series features ‘90s alternative rock band Third Eye Blind presented by PNC in association with Magic 98.3FM on Friday, July 29 followed by a fireworks show; The Girl and The Dreamcatcher featuring Disney’s Dove Cameron & Ryan McCartan on Saturday afternoon, July 30; the New Jersey Lottery presents KC and The Sunshine Band on Saturday, July 30 in association with NJ101.5FM and in conjunction with the Festival’s nighttime hot air balloon glow; and John Kay & Steppenwolf and Foghat perform Sunday, July 31 in association with Q104.3FM.
This year’s Festival also has the hottest act on the planet as Brian “The Human Fuse” Miser will shoot himself across the Festival grounds from a 24-foot-long crossbow --- while on fire!
The Festival offers 39 hours of affordable family entertainment including “The Greatest Glow on Earth” nighttime balloon glow where balloons are inflated and lit up while tethered on the ground; a fireworks display; the Advil® Running with the Balloons 5K Cross-Road Challenge presented by Power Crunch; children’s amusement rides and entertainment in the Jeep Family Fun Center; exciting interactive exhibits and hundreds of crafters and food vendors.
Tickets are available at all QuickChek store locations, by calling 1-800-HOT-AIR9, or online at www.balloonfestival.com.