New Jersey 37th Annual QuickChek Festival of Ballooning
We have been attending the NJ QuickCheck Festival of Ballooning for a number of years now and we look forward to it each year.
It amazes me how lucky they have been over the years, that the weather continues to bless this festival. There was only one exception two years ago, when they had to close the festival early one day because of a severe thunderstorm.
Of course the Hot Air Balloons need a calm wind and a clear sky to fly. This year, although temps reached into the high 90’s, it was one of the best days for riding in a balloon or being a spectator. This is why the ascensions are at 6:30 AM and 6:30 PM, because of calm skies and nice breezes to take the Balloons where they have to go.
Each year my wife and I and our service dog Georgie attend the Festival of Ballooning.
It is estimated that over 100,000 people attended the festival each year, but with all the land at Soldberg Airport it is maneageble. The ground are also packed with excited, happy families getting ready to enjoy not only the balloons, but the festival activities too.
It is always a good idea to travel early and avoid heavy traffic. The morning mass ascensions start at 6:30 AM on all three days. They are beautiful, and the weather is also cooler earlier in the day. We did notice on Sunday when we left that hundreds of cars were coming for the 6:30 PM evening ascensions .
We had watched the ascensions on Saturday evening and we were so tired and hot on Sunday that we left early. We can never seem to make it for the early morning ascensions which start at 6:30 AM, but if you live close to the airport or are an early riser it is worth seeing it in the morning.
We used to start out early but never had the strength to go all day, but locals can do this and it is worth the time to see all the ascensions if you can.
From Their Website
Participating Companies-FREE Stuff
There were so many participating companies and booths many distributing FREE samples of their companies products. Kind brought in what seemed to be their entire team to distribute full sized Kind Bars to the attendees.
At the end of the two days at the festival, we literally had hundreds of candy bars, potato chips, and so many other goodies that we are now stocked until next years festival. You can see many of the exhbitors in our photo gallery.
We Love Kind
FREE Health Cigna Screening Exhibit
My wife and I signed up for our Cigna took a drop of blood, weighed me in and measured around my waist. I found out I had shrunk 2″ from my 5’8″ height, that my good cholesterol was better than ideal, she knew I had to be on a cholestorol drug :-), everything else in the test was wonderful, except my waist circumference, got to get rid of the love handles.
Entertainment – Music – Food
In our photo gallery you will see that the crowds come not only for the Hot Air Balloons, but also for the entertainment and food. There was a magic show a demonstration of skill and danger on trampolines and of course many food options. Quickchek has a massive tent serving all sorts of food and drink with tables on the outside with umbrellas for their guests.
Of course there is their concert series this year Saturday evening it was the Band Perry on Sunday afternoon it was the Beach Boys. Those that wanted seats could purchase the VIP tickets, the pilots and the crew of the balloons were given access to the side of the theater and watched through the chain link fence. Others were able to listen to the music that was loud enough to hear from a great distance.
For the Children
As you can see in our photos there were rides for the children, including a ride on a real pony, many huge inflatible rides and so much more. Everyone had a wonderful time and we recommend if you are in driving distance from the Soldberg Airport in Readington, NJ next year to plan ahead and spend the time enjoying the best event for the summer in New Jersey.
Our Flickr Photo Gallery
There are 226 photos · and 11 video clips in our Flickr Gallery below and even download those you like.
Note: These are for your use only and not to be used commercially without our permission or our copyright notice.