Hot Air Balloon Festival in New Jersey
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The annual 3-day hot air balloon festival in New Jersey took place at Solberg Airport at Readington in New
Jersey from July 25 to 27, 2014. The address is 39 Thor Solberg Rd., Whitehouse Station, New Jersey
08889, Phone: 800-468-2479. It is about 4 miles west of Bridgewater/Somerville. The official name of this
annual festival is "Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning" with its website at:

http://
www.balloonfestival.com/

Click here for interactive Google Map showing location of this balloon festival

The festival lead sponsor is Quick Chek Food Stores, and has more than fifty corporate partners.
We arrived at about 5 PM on July 26, 2014 to see this hot air balloon festival. There are two scheduled balloon
ascensions (launch) at 6:30 AM and 6:30 PM on each day of the festival. The reason for such scheduled launch
times is that it is the safest to launch hot air balloons when the surface winds are less than 6 mph.  Therefore,
ascensions are at the two times during the day when winds are calmest - one hour after sunrise, and one hour
prior to sunset.

However, at 6:30 PM on July 26, 2014, the wind was still higher than 6 mph, such that the launch of the
balloons was delayed until 7:30 PM. So, check the weather forecast before you come.
Many people, including many kids and babies, come to this fun festival of hot air balloons. The event is packed.
It attracts more than 175,000 people from all over the United States, and is the premiere family entertainment
attraction in New Jersey
Two views of many cars in the huge parking area. We paid $10 parking fee to drive into the huge parking area.
But we did not pay additional fee to get closer to see various festival activities and concert. We felt that staying
at the parking area is good enough to see the hot air balloons when they are launched into the air. I was using
my compact super-zoom camera with 50X optical zoom. I can zoom in easily to get reasonably good pictures
even if those balloons are miles away from me.

A long list of various festival activities and their schedule can be seen at the following website:

http://
balloonfestival.com.ismmedia.com/ISM3/std-content/repos/Top/ENTERTAINMENT%20SCHEDULE%20FOR%20SATURDAY
%2020
14.pdf
Another view of large number of people in such hot air balloon festival can be seen at the following website:

https://
www.flickr.com/photos/103223357@N06/9934104046/in/set-72157635879509066

The festival features artists and crafters, food vendors, live music, children's amusement rides, yoga and
jazzercise, the Playstation Road to Greatness Tour and fireworks. This year's headliners are classic rock band
America (8 tonight), modern rock group 3 Doors Down (8 p.m. Saturday) and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (3
p.m. Sunday). Pop-rock band Hot Chelle Rae is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday.
One of many festival activities and shows is the five-person High Flying Fools comedy high-diving show from a
high tower.
One of the divers lights himself on fire before leaping off the high platform among the hot air balloons.
The Hot-air balloons Festival brings out the little kid in everyone. You have to see it in person to see how
magnificent they are.
After $10 parking fee, general admission tickets for the festival cost additional $30. Gold seating tickets cost
$75. Platinum seating tickets cost $85.

Sunrise balloon rides cost $225 per person; sunset rides cost $250 per person. Tethered balloon rides cost
$20 per person.
We left soon after most of the balloons had taken off and it was not too congested to leave at that time
because many people stayed for the concert, fireworks and Night Magic Glow, the sight of those giant
balloons in the air lit from within at night like giant holiday ornaments is breathtaking.

Overall it was a fantastic experience to see those awesome balloons.


Thanks to May Lee for pointing out that there is another Hot Air Balloon Festival in New Jersey associated
with Warren County Farmers Fair with information as:

Annual Warren County Farmers Fair featuring Hot Air Balloon Festival
From Saturday July 26 to Saturday August 2, 2014, at:
North Gate – County Road 519 (Uniontown Rd.)

Website: http://
www.warrencountyfarmersfair.org/

Enter address for GPS:
1350 Strykers Rd,
Phillipsburg, NJ 08865

GPS Coordinates at:
40.723615, -75.143593

Map:
Click here for interactive Google Map showing location of Warren County Farmers Fair

It is about 2 miles south of Harmony Township, 2 miles west of Merrill Creek Reservoir and 2 mile east of
Delaware River

Hot Air Balloons launching scheduled at 6:30 pm

Free Parking, Admission is $7 per adult

Questions on the Balloon Festival or Balloon Rides?
Call: (908) 454-3431

Questions on the Fair?
Call: (908) 859-6563

One of my friends, Kong S. Chong, got on the Hot Air Balloon Ride on July 31, 2014 from the Warren County
Farmers Fair site. His pictures and video taken from the floating balloon in the air can be seen at the
following website:

Aerial Views from the Hot Air Balloon

One of the pictures shows nice aerial view of the Merrill Creek Reservoir from the balloon. In autumn season,
many bird watchers come to Merrill Creek Reservoir to watch many hawks high in the sky migrating south; In
late February and early March time frame, many bird watchers come to Merrill Creek Reservoir to watch
huge number of snow geese on the reservoir and on the nearby farm fields as shown on my web page at:

http://
www.shltrip.com/Merrill_Creek_Reservoir.html
This is an awesome event for young kids, old kids and people who are still young at heart. Photographers
love such event of many colorful hot air balloons sail off into the sunrise or sunset.
Balloons are the main event, however they have tons of events throughout the day. There are games, carnival
rides, pony ride, Fun Slide and good carnival food such as grilled sausages and fried Oreos. Also tons of
vendors giving out free snacks and even ice cream.
Balloons, balloons and balloons!
Oh the balloons.  It was fun.