6 Fascinating Highlights of the Balloon Festival NJ

The New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning is North America’s giant summertime hot air balloon and music festival and the state’s most popular family attraction. The festival, which takes place at Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ, has something for everyone! There’s something for everyone, from mass ascensions of up to 100 distinctive shapes and sport hot air balloons twice daily to headlining concerts.

Since 1983, the Balloon Festival NJ has occurred yearly at Solberg Airport in Readington Township, New Jersey. The New Jersey Lottery is the primary sponsor. Around 125 unusual forms and sports and hot air balloons were present at the festival in 2012. More than 175,000 people attended the event, including music concerts, artisans and merchants, food, carnival rides, and fireworks. It had over fifty corporate sponsors.

1. New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning

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Image Added: depositphotos

In collaboration with USA Today, Bill Lewis transported ten hot air balloons to the Union 76 Truck Stop on Interstate 78 in New Jersey for the first event in 1983. After two years, they transferred the festival to its current location at Solberg Airport, where it had grown to 40 to 50 balloons and 30,000 to 40,000 attendees.

Howard Freeman and John Korff purchased the New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in 1993, and a long-term agreement with Solberg Airport was negotiated. The following year, they signed a long-term sponsorship deal with QuickChek. The festival has become New Jersey’s most significant event and North America’s largest summertime balloon festival.

Significant concerts were added to the festival in 2000 to set it apart from previous balloon festivals. The Beach Boys, a legendary band, headlined the first event. The Doobie Brothers, Hall & Oates, Styx, Foreigner, America, and the Jonas Brothers performed as headliners. Three main concerts were held at each consecutive event.

Location: 39 Thor-Solberg Rd, Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889, United States

Contact details: 973-882-5464

Check out their Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages, including their YouTube channel.

Download the NJ Lottery Festival Ballooning app here (Android users, Apple users)

The state of New Jersey operates the New Jersey Lottery in the United States. Cash4Life, Mega Millions, and Powerball are three of its multi-jurisdictional draw games. Pick-3, Pick-4, Jersey Cash 5, Pick-6, Quick Draw, and Cash Pop are among its in-house drawing games. Fast Play and scratch-off tickets are also available from the lottery. The New Jersey Lottery is based in Lawrence Township, Mercer County, at One Lawrence Park Complex.

2. Top 6 Interesting Things to do

Miller Lite, Barone Fini, the New Jersey Lottery, and Chandon California are among the event’s sponsors. The New Jersey Lottery became the festival’s title sponsor in 2020, and the Festival of Ballooning launched a new association with them. Unfortunately, the festival was postponed because of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The Children’s Miracle Network, which supports three pediatric hospitals in New Jersey, receives a percentage of the festival’s revenues. Read on to know more.

2.1 Ritual

hot air balloon festival preparation
Image Source: depositphotos

Since 2004, hired a virgin to execute a rite to ensure that the festival would be held in excellent weather. One of the organizers of Rituals, Howard Freeman, maintains that the ceremony originated in Singapore. It entails having a virgin drive a golf cart to each festival’s four corners.

She picks up grass blades at each corner, mumbles odd words, and uses knives to pierce whole onions and peppers, then buries the knives with the produce. Victoria Brumfield, the 2007 virgin, stated it’s a mix of “joy and shame” and that “if it rains, it is not because of my virtue.” I will wait till I’m married and no one has approached me yet.” She is a committed Mormon.

2.2. Stage Concerts

Reserved Concert Tickets come with a reserved seat for the day’s leading musical event and all of a Blue-Sky Club Membership privilege. On its Main Stage, the festival is fortunate to have hosted several world-class musical acts.

The Beach Boys, Jonas Brothers, Meat Loaf, Joan Jett, Peter Frampton, Demi Lovato, Hall & Oates, Third Eye Blind, and others have all performed. Barenaked Ladies, Styx, Max Weinberg’s Jukebox, and Laurie Berkner were among the artists performing at their 2021 concerts.

2.3. Hot Air Balloons

colorful hot air balloons sky
Image Source: depositphotos

You can’t comprehend the joy of witnessing a swarm of colorful hot air balloons soar magnificently from green pasture to azure sky if you’ve never witnessed it. The Warren County Farmers Fair and Balloon Festival alone is worth the trek to Warren County, New Jersey. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can purchase a ticket, board the train, and join the action up close.

2.4. VIP Experience

Look no further if you want to be treated like a VIP at the New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning. There are a variety of VIP Experiences available. One such is the Blue-Sky Club.

2.4.1. Blue Sky Club

You’ll get access to many VIP benefits when you join the club, including front-row seats to concerts, private restrooms, and free parking. You will receive the following benefits as a Blue-Sky Club member:

  • The festival admission ($40 value)
  • Their VIP Blue Sky Club Tent, positioned adjacent to the Flight Line, provides unparalleled views of the hot air balloon ascensions.
  • Parking is complimentary at the VIP Parking Lot, which has a unique VIP Entrance.
  • Tables and seats are available throughout the tent, providing excellent views of the balloon ascensions and concerts.
  • A catered meal service in the VIP Blue Sky Club Tent (food is an additional charge).
  • Bathrooms with running water, vanity mirrors, and air conditioning are available in private rooms.
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Image Source: Blue Sky Club

Note: Blue Sky Club Memberships do not include reserved tickets to the day’s headline music engagement. Additional VIP choices are listed below.

  • Adults: $75 on Friday
  • Friday: $35 Child (Ages: 4 to 12); Convenience and handling fees are omitted
  • Children under the age of three are admitted for free.
  • Adults: $89 on Saturday
  • Saturday: $40 Child (Ages: 4 to 12); Convenience and handling fees are omitted
  • Children under the age of three are admitted for free.
  • Adult: $89 on Sunday
  • Sunday: $40 Child (Ages: 4 to 12); Convenience and handling fees are omitted
  • Children under the age of three are admitted for free.

2.5. Tethered Balloon Rides

You can walk to the Balloon Port from the fairgrounds and watch the launch. Rides with a Tether, as weather permits, hot air balloons will offer tethered balloon excursions in the evening. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to go up yet been too afraid to try?

Consider taking a tethered balloon ride ($20 for adults, $15 for children 12 and under, and free for children three and under with one paying adult). Once you’ve entered the Fair, visiting the balloon festival is free.

You can enjoy hot air balloon rides at each of the festivals. A balloon festival visit will enlighten you, giving you a more relaxing experience. There are no refunds available for giving tethered balloon rides.  All tethered rides follow the principle of ‘First come, first served.’

2.6. Quick Draw Entertainment

They expanded and enhanced the New Jersey Lottery sponsors’ quick draw strategy. Thanks to an incredible array of tribute and cover bands, you’ll sing, dance, and tap your toes to your favorite songs.

Sign up for the email list to receive concert announcements, exclusive promotions, and other insider information.

3. Warren County Farmers Fair

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Image Source: Warren County Farmer’s Fair

Hot Air in Warren County gathers a splendid audience. The Warren County Farmers’ Fair could not occur in 2020 due to its size and low attendance.

With longtime sponsor Warren County Community College, it celebrated its 20th year at its Washington location. It was one of the few occasions when something happened. The response was very positive, and the public desired more.

Balloon activity occurs later in the day when the winds are calm. If you’ve never attended a hot air balloon festival in NJ before, remember that the balloons are set up in the evenings at about 6:30 p.m. Please plan ahead of time for your visit. Admission is open to everybody. The ticket is only suitable for one day of the festival. For concerts, all General Admission tickets include grass seating.

The spectacular event, organized by the NJ department, always has a fun close-up. Enjoy the non-stop family entertainment and win significant credit cards at NJ’s balloon festival.

Last Updated on November 30, 2023 by Sathi Chakraborty


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