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Festival of Ballooning Lifts Off This Weekend

Find the Patch table at the festival for a chance at a tethered balloon ride.

A fleet of hot air balloons will overtake the sky this weekend as the Quick Check Festival of Ballooning celebrates its 30th year.

But the festival, held Friday-Sunday, July 27-29, at Solberg Airport in Readington, offers much, much more than ballooning.

There are rides, an arts and crafts festival, yoga and Zumba demonstrations, and food—lots of it. Every evening, there will be a music concert and twice each day on Saturday and Sunday and once on Friday, more than 100 balloons will rise majestically into the sky.

And Patch will offer all attendees a chance to leave all your troubles behind and take a free tethered balloon ride. Just find our table at the festival and sign up for our email newsletter.

There will be five different musical concerts at the festival. On Friday night, July 27, Eddie Money brings his hits from the '70s and '80s to the festival. Saturday’s daytime concert is aimed at teens, while Saturday night welcomes Motown legend Smokey Robinson to the stage. Sunday’s teen concert stars R5 featuring Ross Lynch from the Disney Channel show Austin and Ally. Sunday’s final concert at 3 p.m. brings Poison's Bret Michaels to Readington.

If you want to watch the balloons take off, be at the festival grounds either in the early morning or early evening. Balloons need still air to launch, which is normally most likely around daybreak and at dusk, so the balloon ascensions are set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

"Think 'state fair' with balloons," Russ Mensch, a spokesman for the festival, "[We'll have] nonstop, affordable family entertainment, children's amusement rides, fireworks, a nighttime 'balloon glow,' the Running with the Balloons 5K race, the Quick Chek hospitality tent, hundreds of arts & crafts and food vendors, and lots, lots more."

The Festival of Ballooning starts Friday, July 27 (1-10 p.m.), and continues Saturday, July 28 (6 a.m.-10 p.m.), and Sunday, July 29 (6 a.m.-8 p.m.).

How to Get There From Here: See the driving directions on the festival's site.

betty July 26, 2012 at 03:58 PM
The balloons often flew over our house. They are quite spectacular! Traffic can be challenging. The festival used to offer a shuttle bus from Raritan Valley CC on Rt 28 in Branchburg to the site. You might find that taking 195 west to 95, then to the Flemington area and Rt. 31/202, up to Branchburg might help to avoid much of the heavy traffic from northern Jersey and NYC. Rain can make parking at the fields tricky.
Bob Groder July 26, 2012 at 04:01 PM
i got stuck in the mud both going to and getting out of the field as i had vip parking but that vip parking is in an open field. the good thing is the festical staff was prepared and had tow trucks to help people in and out of the parking areas. this was aobut 4 yrs ago when we got horrendous rains on the friday of hermans hermits. i went on saturday but the mud was still horrendous. i had a great time and id go again. i happen to be busy this time however. enjoy it whomever goes!
Cinnaminsongirl July 27, 2012 at 12:44 AM
We go to the warren county farm fair and balloon festival. It's smaller, cheaper and traffic and parking are no problem. It starts this weekend.
Dana M July 28, 2012 at 02:24 PM
We went yesterday and it was so great! We spent an extra $20 per child for a kids club pass. With the pass, each child (accompanied by an adult) was given total access to the balloon field as they were being inflated. It was incredible! Well worth the money.
miss peaches September 01, 2012 at 07:34 PM
do we get to ride inside the ballon n how much?...

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