Did you know that the largest hot air balloon festival in North America actually takes place in New Jersey? This weekend is the 40th anniversary of The New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning. Readington, New Jersey has become a hot air balloon capital of sorts. The festival has welcomed Grammy-award-winning recording artists, and festival planners expect over 165,000 attendees throughout the three days of the festival.
Running from Friday, July 28 until Sunday, July 30, the Festival of Ballooning will be held at Solberg Airport in Readington. The first hot air balloons will take flight Friday, July 28 at 6:30 PM, and will launch again at 6:30 AM and 6:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Come to the festival Saturday night for a special hot air balloon glow launch, starting at 8:30.
Tickets range in price from $32-$40 for adults and $12-$15 for children. You can even take a hot air balloon ride, if you have $325 to spend.
This year’s festival will have 90 sport balloons, as well as 10 specialty balloons for a total of 100 balloons. These specialty balloons include an old-fashioned alarm clock, a pair of bumblebees, Darth Vader, and Yoda. All hot air balloon flights are scheduled weather permitting.
In between balloon launches, you’ll be able to take in some live music, including cover bands of greats like Stevie Nicks, as well as headliners KC and the Sunshine Band and Fitz and the Tantrums. You can view the full lineup here.
Cappadocia, Turkey may be the hot air balloon capital of the world, but Readington, New Jersey is fighting for the title of the runner-up. Purchase tickets before it’s too late.