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Balloon Festival Takes Flight in Readington

More than 100 hot air balloons, musical acts, and Patch are at airport grounds all weekend.

Solberg Airport in Readington was alive with thousands of guests —including Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno — more than 100 hot air balloons, vendors and internationally known musical acts Friday during the Quick Chek Festival of Ballooning. The event, celebrating its 30th year, will continue through Sunday.

Friday night's musical act was Eddie Money, with his hits from the '70s and '80s.

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.

There is plenty more to do than just listen to the music, though. There are rides, an arts and crafts, yoga and Zumba demonstrations, and food.

Patch will also be there. 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.

Check out the gallery above of Friday night's festivities.

n July 28, 2012 at 01:49 PM
If you plan to go to the Quick Chek Balloon Festival to watch the balloons set up & take off, then be advised that they fly only twice a day, weather permitting. They fly early in the morning around 6:30 am or so and they fly in the late afternoon after 6:30 pm. There might be some balloons set up during the day that are anchored to the ground that go up & down. There are booths for food & mementos set up and a live bands do play during the day. Just know if it is hot out in Basking Ridge, it will be even hotter standing on the field waiting for the balloons to take off. So bring a chair, an umbrella and enjoy. It's a good thing christi didn't show up, since there isn't enough balloons to lift his butt more than 1/2 inch off the ground.
Therese Ojibway July 28, 2012 at 02:48 PM
I will never forget the heartless vendor of the kids trampoline area who refused to let my son participate with all the other kids after he waited his turn patiently in the long line in sweltering heat. She looked from my hushand's AUTISTM SPEAKS t-shirt to our son and ask, "Does he have autism?...Then he can't go in." There was no arguing with her. It was heartbreaking. If she's still there: BOYCOTT!
Angelina July 28, 2012 at 05:14 PM
U people r all so miserable. Can't u just let people enjoy a nice weekend? Do u have nothing better to do than complain about everything? Yes. People r rude and heartless so whine about the one vendor instead of the whole event that is actually a wonderful time.
William Mays July 28, 2012 at 05:18 PM
More like the vendor was heartless.
Therese Ojibway July 28, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Who was complaining about "everything"? My comment was about a specific bigot who was making money off people attending the balloon festival and who deserved to be boycotted due to her discriminatory practices. It does illustrate how such discrimination can color one's overall experience. You are fortunate if you or your children have never been subjected to blantant discrimination. Obviously you don't know the resilient parents of children with autism who generally possess a great sense of humor specifically to deal with daily life. Count your blessings and when you point your finger I suggest it is at the lovely balloons that drew us to the festival in the first place.
Smn5 July 28, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Seems to me you're the one who's complaining.
John Meola July 29, 2012 at 12:47 AM
On the contrary! He's bellows out quite a lot of hot air, which would levitate the balloon.
JP July 29, 2012 at 07:09 AM
Unfortunately there were no balloons taking off Saturday evening at 6:30 while I was there. It poured.
JP July 29, 2012 at 07:14 AM
And... it's $30 per adult to get in and $5 to park. (You can try to make that up in free samples, but it's tough) They didn't even announce to the crowd they weren't flying on Saturday night!!! Just kept rolling those $30 fees onto the field.
n July 29, 2012 at 02:42 PM
I tried to warn everyone. I even posted on three different Patch Sites! While it isn't cheap to get in, the airport doesn't run itself for free either.
n July 29, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I also noticed that a post, critical to the Balloon Fest were deleted by Patch. No comment is better than a bad comment.
JP July 29, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Seems strange they would delete it when we all have it in our email anyway and could easily re-post it. Maybe the promoters flagged it as inappropriate.
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RuralLiving April 30, 2013 at 07:29 PM
$30/adult for the event and $5 for parking is rather steep!! The Warren County Farmer's Fair has a hot air balloon fest every year and it is only about $7/adult and a few dollars for each child. Parking is free. It is usually around the first week of August and they launch balloons all week at 6:30 pm weather permitting. The Warren County Fairgrounds are a couple miles north of Phillipsburg, just off of NJ 519. www.warrencountyfarmersfair.org and www.balloonfestnj.com

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