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New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning: 11 things you need to know before you go

READINGTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (Hunterdon County) – Before heading out to the annual New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning at Soldberg Airport in Readington Township, which starts this Friday, July 28 and runs through Sunday, July 30, here is what you need to know.

Tickets. General Admission tickets are good for any one of the festival. Adult general admission is $32. Tickets for children ages 4 to 12 are $12, children under 3-years-old are free and all general admission tickets include admission to the festival on day of choice, all entertainment on the Cash Pop Stage, all activities/entertainment in the Family Fun Pavilion, Lottery Land access, access to Fearless Flores Show, all entertainment on the Magic Stage, viewing of all balloon ascension on day of attendance, Friday & Saturday night Dazzling Drone Light Show, lawn seating for the day’s headlining concert, and more.

What is the best time for watching the balloons? The balloon ascensions take place on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday at 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m..

Want to ride in a hot air balloon? Balloon rides at the New Jersey Festival of Ballooning are $275 per person in the morning, $325 per person in the evening on Friday and Sunday, and $350 per person in the evening on Saturday. Tethered rides allow you to get a small taste of ballooning. These balloons are tied to the ground and go up about 50 –75 feet in the air. This is a great way to float above Solberg Airport and see the entire festival grounds. Tethered rides last about 5 minutes and cost $20 per person. Tethered rides can only be purchased onsite at the festival.

What about parking? The festival offers the convenience of 80+ acres of on-site parking. As you get closer to the festival, follow all posted signs and directional signage. Following posted signs will greatly expedite you arriving at the correct parking lot. On-site parking is $10.00 (cash and credit accepted). Unfortunately, there is no mass transit (buses or trains) that goes directly to Solberg Airport.

What else is there to do? The New Jersey Festival of Ballooning is “more than hot air” because it offers a wide variety of entertainment. There is truly something for everyone. From colorful hot air balloons ascending twice daily to 3 headline concerts, to world-class children’s entertainment, to hundred’s of arts & crafters, to food vendors from around the world, fireworks, balloon glows and more, to amusement rides, they guarantee non-stop entertainment for the entire family. For night-time entertainment check out the fireworks on Friday at 9:30 p.m. and the unique balloon glow during the concert on Saturday at 8:30 p.m., and Sunday the Running with the Balloons 5K at 8:00 a.m.

How about for the kids? Children’s entertainment includes amusement rides and magic shows. Friday Kids’ Concert at 1:30 p.m. with Laurie Berkner.

Don’t forget the concerts every day. Lit followed by Everclear on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Parth Oza and Team saaZ on Saturday at 1:30 p.m., KC AND THE SUNSHINE BAND on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Check out the festival’s schedule of events for more information.

What should you bring? For the lawn concerts, festival organizers suggest you bring a blanket or lawn chairs, but tents are not allowed. Only service animals are allowed on festival grounds. If your pet is not a service animal, make arrangements to leave your beloved pets at home during your trip to the festival.

What is there to eat?  The Festival offers an assortment of unique foods for purchase at our concessionaire stands. Coolers, bottles, and food are not permitted on the festival grounds.

Keep in mind, the weather. If the festival is postponed, plan to use your tickets for the rescheduled dates. General admission tickets are automatically valid for the rescheduled dates.

Stay up-to-date. Use the Festival’s social media, website, mobile app, or call 800-HOT-AIR-9 for the latest news and for more information, click here.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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