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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 Chek Festival of Ballooning celebrates its 30th year.

But the festival, held Friday through Sunday, July 27 through 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 e-mail 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.

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