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NJ Festival of Ballooning

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Yesterday we went to the Quick Chek NJ Festival of Ballooning, a huge annual event that we’ve never gone to before, despite the fact that it’s less than 15 minutes from our house.   This year the lure for us was the Saturday night concert-Barenaked Ladies.  The actual hot air balloons launch at 6:30am and 6:30pm.  We did not want to go at 6:30am, so just went around noon with the kids (and thus they did not actually see any hot air balloons.)  There was a super magic show, rides, lots of free samples and things, and it was a merry atmosphere.  One of the favorite things we saw was the Cannon Lady, who was like a fantastic 1970s tough lady, with her jumpsuit and long hair and Evel Kneivel like feat.
Cannon Lady prepares

The Cannon Lady's launch
When we’d done all we wanted to we left and went home.  At 6:30 the babysitter arrived and we headed back with our grownup friends.  To our delight the evening ascension seemed to be a little late because when we got there it was just happening and we got to see it!  It was pretty amazing seeing dozens of hot air balloons all lifting and crowding into the air together.
Some of the balloons were beautiful, many were funny shapes, including a shark (which made me laugh because he has a tiny bottom and moves upright), a Blue Meanie, Spiderpig, a Pepsi can, a butterfly, and a barn with animals sticking out of it.
Every time you looked in the air it was just stunning and I had to take a million pictures.  We found great lawn seats for the concert and while we waited saw some Red Bull Air Force skydivers whizzing through the sky, doing aerial tricks.  During the concert (which was great, ay) there were several balloons inflated right next to the stage and audience.  When they would release their flames the balloons would light up against the night sky like beautiful Japanese lanterns.

It was pretty awesome to be listening to live music, with Paul and our friends, and seeing such a neat sight, too. (If I can figure out how to insert a little video, you can see it too.) Then when the show was over two sky divers came whizzing through the starry sky (with blinking lights so you could see them), which was pretty cool.


About Sarah

I'm a librarian living with my lovely family in a gorgeous spot of New Jersey, where we raise chickens and love the outdoors. I try to find enough time to indulge all my hobbies-cooking, photography, gardening, sewing, and I write about it all on my book blog & personal blog.

3 responses »

  1. We were *this* close to going this year, too! I’ve been twice before, I think, but it was before I had kids. It was the Barenaked Ladies advertisement on the radio that hooked me. Unfortunately, we waited too long to order tickets, and it got massively expensive for the four of us. So we skipped it. Maybe next year I’ll plan ahead a little better. Glad to hear it was a nice time! 🙂

    • I always balked at the cost, but this year we bought the tickets in June, which gave us quite the discount! (Plus one of my kids was free.)

  2. We’ve been three years in a row now and this year was the best!!!! We get there early in the day and camp down by the main stage. I got some decent video of the million dollar song! Enjoy.


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