New Jersey Festival of Ballooning – Hot Air Balloon
July 29, 30, 31, 2022
The Largest Summertime Hot Air Balloon & Music Festival in North America: 100 balloons, 165,000 attendees
For further information call toll free 1-800-HOT-AIR9 or 973-882-5464 www.balloonfestival.com
The largest summertime hot air balloon & music festival in North America features twice a day mass ascensions of hot air balloons; a hugely popular live concert series; fireworks; a nighttime hot air balloon glow; children’s amusement rides; the Running with the Balloons 5K race; family entertainment and attractions; extreme trampoline show; exciting interactive exhibits and hundreds of crafters and food vendors; and more!
* Named the premier family attraction in New Jersey by the USA Today Network *
* Named one of the Top 50 Festivals in America by MSN Lifestyle *
Friday Night, July 29th after that evening’s concert
Friday, July 29th, 6:30 am – 6:30 pm
Saturday July 30th at 6:30 am & 6:30 pm
Sunday, July 31st at 6:30 am & 6:30 pm
** All balloon activity is wind and weather permitted **
2022 Music Performances / Concerts:
Friday Kids Concert
Friday, July 29 at 1:30 pm
Headlining Friday Night Concert
Friday, July 23 at 8:00 pm
Headlining Saturday Night Concert
Saturday, July 24 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, July 25 at 3:00 pm
Solberg Airport, Readington, NJ Easily accessible from Routes 78, 22, 287, 1, 202, 206, Garden State Parkway, and the New Jersey Turnpike
1:00 pm to 10:00 pm
6:00 am to 10:00 pm
Sunday, July 31, 2022
6:00 am to 8:00 pm
Adult General Admission Tickets:
Price subject to change without notice.
Child General Admission Tickets:
Children ages 4-12:
Price subject to change without notice.
Children ages 3 and under: free
BALLOON RIDES (weather permitting): Morning rides, 6:30 a.m., $250 per person. Evening rides (Friday and Sunday): 6:30 p.m., $295 per person. Saturday Evening: $315
Rides sell out early, reservations can be made by calling 1-800-HOT-AIR-9 or through the Festival’s website at www.balloonfestival.com. All balloon rides are wind and weather permitting.
PARKING: $10 on-site; there is also a FREE express shuttle from Raritan Valley Community College
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
1-800-HOT-AIR9 or 973-882-5464 www.balloonfestival.com
1-800-HOT-AIR9 or www.balloonfestival.com
Here’s a collection of photos we’d taken in the many years past:
Below which you’ll find present and past year press releases.
2022 Press Releases:
May 27, 2022
READINGTON, NJ — While the balloons will always be the stars, music will fill the air more than ever at the 39th annual New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning. New Jersey Lottery’s “Lottery Land” became an exciting new entertainment feature in 2021 and the spacious entertainment complex will once again be a destination and meet-up spot in heightening up entertainment at this year’s July 29-30-31 Festival at Solberg Airport. New this year: eight top-flight tribute bands will perform throughout the weekend on the Lottery’s CASH POP Summer Stage, a second performance venue providing attendees with even more music to enjoy. “We’re excited to offer more of the music you love to an even wider audience,” said Festival Executive Producer Howard Freeman. “Lottery Land has become an exciting destination at the Festival. Having these top tribute and cover bands – longtime staples of the Jersey music and bar scene – will be a great addition to our live concert series and musical lineup.” The Garden State, notably the Jersey Shore, has long been synonymous with cover bands and now the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America will be showcasing Jersey’s best bands as well as bands from around the country. Vegas McGraw (tribute to Tim McGraw) and Dance Candy (tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire) will perform on opening day, Friday, July 29. Mini Kiss (tribute to KISS), All Revved Up (tribute to Meat Loaf), and Simply Spice (tribute to the Spice Girls) perform on Saturday, July 30. Vyntage Skynyrd (tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd), The B-Street Band (Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band), and Sugar Mountain (celebrating the genius of Neil Young) perform on Sunday, July 31. With up to 100 colorful hot air balloons filling the sky, multiple concert venues, family entertainment, fireworks and food all in one place, the Festival makes the perfect staycation for those looking to enjoy affordable outdoor family entertainment close to home. The Festival’s 2022 headlining concert series on the Main Stage features Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Todd Rundgren, Kansas,
2021 Press Release:
READINGTON, NJ — The memories and the magic are back.
The 38th annual New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning, the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America and a must-attend event on everyone’s summer calendar, is scheduled to return to Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ from July 23-24-25, 2021.
Early consumer demand indicates a strong interest in the event’s 2021 return with the opportunity to be outdoors and safely spaced across the 744-acre airport.
Featuring the awe-inspiring spectacle of sport and special shaped hot air balloons taking flight twice each day and a hugely popular live concert series, the Festival has been named the premiere family entertainment attraction in New Jersey by the USA TODAY Network and the No. 1 Thing to Do in New Jersey by New Jersey Monthly.
With colorful balloons filling the sky; concerts featuring Barenaked Ladies, Styx, and Laurie Berkner; children’s amusement rides; fireworks and food all in one place, there’s plenty to see and do. The Festival also makes the perfect staycation for those living in the Metropolitan area looking to stay close to home this summer.
The hot air balloon inflations and ascensions — what the Festival calls the “magic of ballooning — take place in the early morning at 6:30 a.m. and early evening at 6:30 p.m. In between, the Festival offers hours of affordable family entertainment including a live concert series; a fireworks display; a nighttime balloon glow where the balloons are inflated and lit up like giant lanterns; children’s amusement rides and age-appropriate entertainment; human cannonball David “The Bullet” Smith; the Running with the Balloons 5K; exciting experiential attractions and exhibits from leading consumer brands; and hundreds of crafters and food vendors.
“After the Pandemic of 1918 came the ‘Roaring Twenties’, and if early sales are any indication, we expect a similar reaction this summer with people wanting to be outdoors, enjoying themselves and safely spending time with their friends and families,” said Festival Executive Producer Howard Freeman. “The size and openness of Solberg Airport allows us to produce a safe environment to hold the Festival and produce the lifelong memories people have come to enjoy.”
Freeman noted the Festival will follow whatever guidelines and protocols Governor Murphy, the CDC and local agencies will have in place come July.
Exciting new special shaped balloons include the New Jersey Lottery Sunny Days bright yellow sun balloon, a colorful unicorn, and a giant sloth. Returning favorite balloonsinclude the 110-foot-tall Unique Photo panda bear with more special shapes to be announced as the Festival draws closer.
The first headliners for the Festival’s concert series have been announced.
The New Jersey Lottery presents Barenaked Ladies (“If I Had $1,000,000,” “One Week,” theme to The Big Bang Theory)in conjunction with the Festival’s nighttime hot air balloon glow on Saturday, July 24 at 8 p.m.
‘70s/’80s supergroup Styx (“Come Sail Away,” “Lady”) headlines Sunday afternoon, July 25 at 3 p.m.
Best-selling children’s recording artist Laurie Berkner of Princeton opens the music performances Friday afternoon, July 23 at 1:30 p.m. Additional musicians and entertainment will be announced soon.
The Festival’s return is good news for local communities and for New Jersey.
Since its inception in 1970, the New Jersey Lottery has contributed over $28 billion to the State, helping to bolster the public employee pension system for teachers, police and fire personnel and other public employees, as well as supporting businesses and communities throughout New Jersey.
Giving back to its communities is also an important part of the Festival, which has raised more than $3 million to date to benefit local charities, non-profit organizations and children’s specialized hospitals.
Advance tickets offering great savings are available now at www.balloonfestival.com.
2019 Press Releases:
COUNTRY-POP GRAMMY® AWARD WINNERS PERFORM JULY 27
READINGTON, NJ — Grammy® Award-winning superstar sibling trio The Band Perry, best known for their #1 single “If I Die Young,” will headline the 37th annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Association with PNC Bank on July 27, 2019.
After selling two and a half million albums, 13 million singles, and racking up over a 1.75 billion combined streams of their songs, the story of Kimberly, Reid, and Neil Perry is again evolving in incredible new ways.
Since releasing their groundbreaking crossover #1 single “If I Die Young” in 2010 (with its current sextuple-platinum status and 160 million video views), The Band Perry have forged a unique, genre-defying identity and built an international fan base leading to sold-out world tours, five No. 1 Singles on the Billboard Country Chart, a No. 1 single on the Hot Adult Contemporary charts, six songs reaching gold or platinum status, and in 2015, bringing home their first Grammy® Award.
The American country-pop music group has performed on TV’s biggest stages, from late night’s most influential (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Late Late Show With James Corden, The Late Show with David Letterman) to daytime’s most popular (Ellen, Good Morning America, The Today Show).
Their track “Live Forever was the official theme song for Team USA at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
“We’re very excited to announce The Band Perry, who is crossing over to contemporary and pop while still playing their greatest country hits, as our Saturday night concert headliner,” said Festival Executive Producer Howard Freeman. “We’re proud to present a diverse lineup over the course of our three-day Festival weekend. The Band Perry will be a great fit with our younger, millennial-oriented audience on Saturday.”
Presented by the New Jersey Lottery, The Band Perry performs at the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America on Saturday night July 27 at Solberg Airport in Readington, following that evening’s mass hot air balloon ascension and in conjunction with the Festival’s nighttime hot air balloon glow.
Known for their boundary-pushing live performances, the band’s combination of music, fashion, and visual art has become a hallmark of their dialogue with their fans and with culture. Their creative efforts boast collaborations with artistic luminaries such as Steven Klein, Nicola Formichetti, and Neil Krug. Even with the extraordinary musical and visual concepts they’ve introduced in their career thus far, the next era promises to see the band expanding these boundaries yet again.
Most excitingly, The Band Perry recently released a highly-anticipated new collection of five songs titled COORDINATES, which has received overwhelming acclaim from fans. The collection sees music industry icon Rick Rubin serving as executive producer. The band wrote and produced the songs themselves via their ARTRAT creative house and production collective.
FLYING LIGHTHOUSE TO SHINE OVER NEW JERSEY BALLOONS, BEACH BOYS BRING SUMMER FUN
READINGTON, NJ — The skies over Central Jersey will soon be filled with balloons, and there’s one guaranteed to outshine them all.
The QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Association with PNC Bank has announced that an 11-story tall flying lighthouse will be the signature special shaped balloon for this year’s festival, lighting the way for the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America. The three-day Festival takes off July 26-27-28, 2019 from Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ.
Tickets go on sale Monday, May 20 at all 159 QuickChek fresh convenience market locations throughout New Jersey, New York’s Hudson Valley and Long Island. The Whitehouse Station, NJ-based convenience chain is the festival’s exclusive retail ticket outlet.
“Lighthouses are a great representation of summer here in New Jersey and the QuickChek Flighthouse balloon will be a great representation for this year’s magic of ballooning,” said Festival Executive Producer Howard Freeman. “We have our greatest lineup of special shaped balloons and our best concert lineup ever, so as you head out for the holiday weekend, make QuickChek your Summer Sub, fresh brewed iced coffee and Festival ticket destination. You’ll enjoy great savings on all three!”
“People love and adore lighthouses, it’s a universal sign of security and like America, it’s always there to protect,” said hot air balloon pilot Barry DiLibero of Chester Springs, PA, who built the 11-story tall, red, white and blue balloon in 2006. “I had always wanted one and people just feel good about them. We’re looking forward to providing that warm feeling and experience for everyone at the festival.”
Complete with sea gulls near the “light” at the top, this special shaped hot air balloon is a majestic 115 feet tall, 53 feet wide at the bottom and weighs 440 pounds.
The QuickChek Flighthouse will be one of up to 100 sport and special shaped hot air balloons taking flight twice each day over the scenic Hunterdon County countryside. New special shaped hot air balloons include a pair of 86-foot-tall cop and robber balloons; a 100-foot-tall High Kitty Japanese cat of good fortune; and a 98-foot-tall Kermie The Frog.
Returning favorite balloons include the 5-story-tall PNC American Flag, the 92-foot-tall Simba the Lion, a 110-foot-tall panda from Unique Photo, a 105-foot-tall white bear from Bimbo Bakeries USA, and the 80-foot-tall Pepsi football.
The Beach Boys, who helped launch the Festival’s live concert series, head this year’s music lineup, which features country-pop superstars The Band Perry, ABBA The Concert, and Grammy Award winning children’s recording artist Dan Zanes + Claudia Eliaza.
Festival admission includes access to the daily mass hot air balloon ascensions; lawn seating for concerts, a fireworks display, a nighttime hot air balloon glow, Flippenout extreme trampoline show, age-appropriate children’s entertainment and activities, exciting interactive exhibits and hundreds of crafters and food vendors.
Festival-goers can now save up to $11 off the gate price at any QuickChek store with no fees. You can enjoy additional savings during QuickChek’s “Summer Sub Days” as select 6-inch sub sandwiches are just $3 and select 12-inch supreme sandwich baguettes are just $6.
Download the QuickChek mobile app to receive an additional $2 savings on Festival tickets through July 24. To locate the nearest QuickChek store visit www.quickchek.com; to learn more about this year’s Festival visit www.balloonfestival.com.
2017 Press Release:
35th annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning being Celebrated in a Big Way
READINGTON, NJ — The QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Association with PNC Bank celebrates its 35th anniversary with its biggest lineup of special shaped balloons and its biggest live concert series ever when the three-day festival takes off July 28-29-30, 2017 at Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ.
The largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America will launch 11 special shaped hot air balloons among the 100 balloons that will take to the skies twice each day in mass ascensions over the scenic Hunterdon County countryside. This year’s live concert series features five headliners headed by the legendary Pat Benatar.
Tickets go on sale at all 149 QuickChek fresh convenience market store locations throughout New Jersey, the Hudson Valley and Long Island starting Friday, May 26. Festival-goers can purchase advance tickets in stores and save 43% off the gate price for adults, save 47% on children’s tickets ages 4-12, and no matter what time you go into a store you can enjoy additional savings during QuickChek’s “All Day Lunch” as all 6-inch subs are just $3 all day long.
Download the QuickChek mobile app to find the nearest store where you can receive an additional $2 savings on festival tickets through July 26.
This year’s awe-inspiring spectacle of 100 sport and special shaped balloons features the 61-foot tall QuickChek Flying Farmhouse; the PNC American Flag, the world’s largest free-flying American flag; a family of 110-foot-tall bumblebees; a lion king, the Unique Photo panda and an Angry Bird; a superhero from Canada; the Pepsi football and an 80-foot tall, 807-pound anniversary cake-shaped balloon.
And there’s a lot of excitement about the Festival’s biggest concert lineup ever with two concerts Friday, July 28; two Saturday, July 29 and one on Sunday, July 30 on the Progressive Main Stage.
“Whether you have come in the past or you’ve always wanted to but haven’t made it out, this is the year to be here with our greatest lineup of special shaped balloons and our biggest concert series ever,” said Festival Executive Producer Howard Freeman.
PNC Bank presents George Thorogood & The Destroyers Rock Party in association with 105.5 WDHA on Friday, July 28. The New Jersey Lottery presents Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo in association with Q104.3FM on Saturday, July 29. The Plain White T’s perform Sunday, July 30 in association with Magic 98.3FM. Hackensack Meridian Health presents best-selling children’s recording artist Laurier Berkner on Friday afternoon, July 28, and pop and Internet sensation Jake Miller performs Saturday afternoon July 29.
“We are thrilled to continue to sponsor this great family festival and the biggest party of the summer,” said QuickChek CEO Dean Durling, whose Whitehouse Station, NJ-based company has been the Festival’s title sponsor for 25 years and is the exclusive retail outlet for the event.
Festival admission includes access to the daily mass hot air balloon ascensions; lawn seating for concerts; a fireworks display; a nighttime hot air balloon glow; the acrobatic AeroSphere Aerial Balloon Show from NBC’s America’s Got Talent; age-appropriate children’s entertainment and activities; exciting interactive exhibits and hundreds of crafters and food vendors.
As part of the Festival’s and QuickChek’s ongoing commitment to giving back to its communities, the Festival has raised more than $2.6 million for local charities and non-profit groups including the Children’s Miracle Network in the past 24 years.
To locate the nearest QuickChek store visit www.quickchek.com; to learn more about this year’s Festival visit www.balloonfestival.com.