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The 35th Annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning – Everything You Need To Know!

 All Your NJ Balloon Festival
Questions – Answered!

The 35th Annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning is just around the corner! Do you have questions about the NJ balloon festival? We’ve got answers! Read on for everything you need to know about one of the biggest and most exciting events happening in New Jersey this summer!

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Can I buy tickets at the festival?

Yes. However, the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning is expected to attract over  175,000 spectators, so do yourself a big favor and avoid lines by buying tickets for the NJ balloon festival online! As a bonus, you’ll also save about 33% by buying your balloon festival tickets in advance!

Can I ride in a balloon?

Yes! Balloons take flight twice a day (once on Friday) and a balloon ride is a breathtaking, once in a lifetime experience. Tickets for balloon rides at the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning are now available. If you want to ride in a balloon, purchase your tickets NOW because they go fast! Tethered balloon rides are also available at the NJ balloon festival.

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A balloon ride at the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning is a breathtaking experience. | Photo: Anthony Quintano

When should I arrive?

The NJ balloon festival has things going on all day from dawn to dusk, but if you want to see the balloon ascensions, you should plan to arrive early if you want to see the 6:30am ascensions and around mid-afternoon to see the 6:30pm ascensions.

What’s the parking situation?

There is on-site parking at the QuickCheck New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, but on Saturday and Sunday the local roads tend to get very congested with the increased festival traffic. Take advantage of FREE shuttle buses available from Raritan Valley Community College (from noon until closing time) and save yourself the aggravation of sitting in traffic. VIP parking is also available.

Who are this year’s headliners at the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning?

This year’s line-up of performers features a wide variety of performers representing a diverse spectrum of genres that are sure to appeal to festival attendees of all ages. This year’s concerts are as follows:

Laurie Berkner

Recognized as the “queen of children’s music” by People magazine, best-selling children’s recording artist and preschool television favorite Laurie Berkner will headline the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning’s first ever concert for children! The singer-songwriter, who grew up in Princeton, NJ and has released 11 best-selling albums, will perform on the Festival’s Opening Day, Friday, July 28th at 1:30pm. Purchase tickets for Laurie Berkner’s concert at the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning HERE.

George Thorogood and the Destroyers

On Friday night, George Thorogood and the Destroyers will bring their “Rock Party Tour 2017” to the biggest party of the summer as “The World’s Greatest Bar Band” headlines the 35th annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Association with PNC Bank on Friday, July 28th, at 8:00pm. With more than 40 years of touring and recording, 15 million albums sold, and 8,000 live shows, George and his longtime band – Jeff Simon (drums, percussion), Bill Blough (bass guitar), Jim Suhler (rhythm guitar) and Buddy Leach (saxophone) – remain among the most relentless and relevant classic rock acts on tour today. The concert will take place following the balloon festival’s first scheduled mass hot air balloon ascension. A fireworks extravaganza will immediately follow the concert. The band is donating $1 from each ticket sale to help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Purchase tickets for the George Thorogood and the Destroyers concert at the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning HERE.

Jake Miller

Pop and internet sensation Jake Miller’s rise has been fueled by an incredible online following and now fans will have the opportunity to see him perform in person as Miller will headline at the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning on Saturday, July 29th at 1:00pm. Miller has amassed more than 90 million hits on his music videos and his 2015 EP, Rumors, shot to #1 on iTunes Overall Top Albums Chart and saw him crisscross the globe on a large headlining tour. He has has also performed alongside some of today’s most established recording artists including Mac Miller, Ariana Grande, Flo Rida, Jason Derulo and Pharrell. Purchase tickets for Jake Miller concert at the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning HERE.

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, one of the most successful partnerships in rock & roll history, will be the Saturday night headliners at the 35th annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning. Their concert will take place after the balloon festival’s Saturday night mass hot air balloon ascension. A four-time Grammy Award winner, Pat Benatar has sold more than 26 million albums and charted 19 Top 40 singles including Hit Me with Your Best Shot, Love is a Battlefield, Heartbreaker, We Belong, and Invincible. The world was first introduced to Benatar and Giraldo’s enduring partnership and rock & roll love affair with her 1979 platinum-selling debut album, In The Heat Of The Night, which included the classic Heartbreaker, as well as the Giraldo-penned hit, We Live For Love. The following year, Benatar and Giraldo cemented their place in music history forever, by being the first female and first guitarist, respectively, to ever appear on MTV, with the video for You Better Run, taken from 1980’s Grammy winning album Crimes of Passion. Purchase tickets for Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo’s concert at the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning HERE.

Plain White T’s

Plain White T’s, best known for their number one hit song Hey There Delilah – the 18th most downloaded song of all time – headlines the final featured concert at the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning. The concert will take place on Sunday, July 30th at 3:00pm. Hey There Delilah made Plain White T’s Grammy-nominated stars in 2007 and the band continued to enjoy further success, blending their upbeat lyrics into the platinum-selling hits 1, 2, 3, 4 and Rhythm of Love, as well as their most recent album American Nights. Purchase tickets for the Plain White T’s concert at the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning HERE.

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The Plain White T’s are this year’s Sunday headliners at the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning. | Photo: Willi Thiel

What should I bring to the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning?

If you are planning on lawn seating at the dozen+ concerts taking place at the festival, bring a blanket or chairs. Bug spray and sunscreen are also recommended. A camera to capture some great shots of the balloons is a great idea!

Is there anything I shouldn’t bring to the balloon festival?

Pets (except for service animals), tents, coolers, bottles, and food are not permitted on the balloon festival grounds. A wide variety of food is available for purchase at the festival at the 2,700 square foot QuickChek festival store and through Greenlight Food Service.

Is there anything else I should know?

Individual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning events are subject to the weather (which – unfortunately – in July in New Jersey can be unpredictable), meaning that balloon ascensions or concerts may be cancelled in the case of severe weather. Festival tickets are good for admission on any day of the festival.

Featured Image: Eric via Flickr


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