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2018 QuickChek Festival of Ballooning

2018 QuickChek Festival of Ballooning

That’s Me Len Rapoport With Georgie
” 2018 QuickChek Festival of Ballooning” is the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America and is the premier family entertainment attraction in New Jersey and took place on July 28th – 30th 2017.  The festival holds the dual distinction of being a recipient of The New Jersey Governor’s Award for Best Special Event, as well as being designated, for the 9th time, as a Top 100 Festival in North America by the American Bus Association.
Held annually at Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ, the festival truly has something for everyone!  From twice daily mass ascensions of up to 100 special shape and sport hot air balloons to headlining concerts, non-stop family entertainment, hundreds of crafters and vendors, great food, fireworks, a balloon glow, rides for the children and so much more. The festival is jam-packed with stuff to do and each year it seems the attendance grows.

QuickChek Festival Ballooning Our 7th Year

This was our seventh year covering this event and probably the best one so far.  We decided to attend Sunday the last day of the event.  We knew from past years you want to get there early so you can visit all the vendors and stock up on all the free drinks, candies and other goodies they are offering visitors before they close for the lunch break.

FREE Food, Cakes, Candy, Drinks...WOW!
FREE Food, Cakes, Candy, Drinks…WOW!

At the 2018 QuickChek Festival of Ballooning you can expect to receive so many complimentary goodies that we usually have to go back to our car to deposit anything we were given that wouldn’t melt in the heat.  So chocolates were eaten as we got them and soft and energy drinks were gobbled down to help us keep hydrated.

We usually look forward to the drug companies that used to attend and offer samples of their products, from band aids, aspirin even sun tan lotion.  However they were no longer present at the festival. Not sure if there was some sort of situation that prevented them from attending.

We also noticed that they didn’t have some of the specialty acts at the festival like the Cannon Lady or some of the other cool acts including last years performance by a young female acrobat that hung from a white balloon and did her act as the balloon traveled across the mob sized crowd in the field.

The Balloons and the Ascensions

Sunday's Balloon Ascension
Sunday’s Ascension

Sunday, the day we attended the 2018 QuickChek Festival of Ballooning, couldn’t be more perfect.  Yes, it was hot during the day, but as it got closer to the balloon’s being inflated for their accession the weather had cooled down quite a bit as many thousand’s spread out their blankets, towels, and beach chairs to watch the show…and what a show it was.

The balloons are then laid out on the ground, inflated with a large fan, then the basket is attached and they start the propane burners to heat up the air inside the balloons.  As the air inside the balloons heat the balloons begin to rise.  During the flight, the captain will continue to start and stop the burners to keep the balloons afloat.

Thousands of guests at the QuickChek Festival Ballooning, set up their cameras on tripods, blankets on the ground and watched the show as we did. We are fortunate to be on the inside of the fence up close to all the action and from our gallery of photos, you can see there was plenty this year.

Sunday – Creedence Clearwater Revival

One of the best events at the 2018 QuickChek Festival of Ballooning, after the Balloon Ascensions, of course, is the concerts. In the past, we attended a number of concerts and was able to listen to one of our fav groups of the past Creedance Clearwater.  Record crowd attend these concerts that start on Friday and run through Sunday. There are a number of entertainers and shows in their stadium each day, so next year make your reservations early.

Some of the Rules

No animals are allowed at the QuickChek Festival Ballooning with the exception of legitimate “Service Animals”.  Legitimate means no “emotional or therapy dogs” or dog owners that have service dog ID cards purchased on the internet for the sole purpose of taking advantage of the ADA’s (American Disability Act) rules and regulations.

The rules also state you are not allowed to bring in any food or drink. We can certainly understand why.  Both the sponsors including their main sponsor QuickChek,  need the support of the attendees.  QuickChek operates a huge facility for food and drinks and offers their products at regular QuickChek prices. So many food vendors who offer every type of food one can imagine.

FREE Snacks
FREE Snacks

There is also the many free samples of drinks, food, health bars,candy and drinks that no one leaves the festival hungry.

The vendors are not allowed to offer any of their samples during the lunch time in order to support the many paid for vendors at the festival.  If you attend on Sunday, here is a tip, at the close of the event, the companies that were offering free samples are giving away what ever is left.  They don’t want to take it back to their facilities.  So we scored big time and loaded up three bags with candy, chips and other goodies.

View Our Photo Gallery Now of the 2018 QuickChek Festival of Ballooning

We have included 234 beautiful photos in our gallery to give you a better idea of the festival.  Just click the image below or this link to go to our gallery.

How to view our photos in our Flickr photo gallery

You can view and even download some of your favorite photos from our 2018 QuickChek Festival of Ballooning gallery.  These are for your personal use only and should not be used on any commercial websites without our permission.  All images are copyrighted and we ask those that want to post our photos on social media sites include the following attribution or credits:  Photo By: Len Rapoport © 2018 IPAimpress.com

2018 Hot Air Ballon Festival

Download Link on Flickr

On the bottom right of each image, you will see this icon.  Click it and it will reveal various image sizes.  Download the size image file you want. Please remember to use the proper credit and link to our article when posting them and do not alter or remove our © from our image files.

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About lenrapp

I am the president of the International Press Association and the publisher of IMPress Magazine. As a working photojournalist and videographer, I cover many events in the New York and New Jersey area for our publications. I am looking forward to our newest publication the Hazlet Times that will be a publication meant to showcase the things I love in Hazlet and those that might need some improvements.

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