New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning

He is back.

Anything can happen in Jersey. Even balloons. (Photo by Craig Allen)

The New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning is the largest summer hot air balloon and music festival in North America.

A lonely balloon, ready to fly, long before sunrise. (Photo by Craig Allen)

And, it’s here in New Jersey.

Some balloons are ready … others need more … hot air. (Photo by Craig Allen)

I had the pleasure of being able to attend the press opening of this year’s festival …

6:14. That’s what the timestamp says. (Photo by Craig Allen).

… and to see the ascent in a hot air balloon in the morning … under a beautiful blue sky, without breeze (ideal for hot air balloons). The temperature, a very pleasant 65 degrees.

Floating in the air. (Photo by Craig Allen)

The first balloons flew into the sky, just before 6.30am (just on time).

We the people … want to float freely in the Jersey skies. (Photo by Craig Allen)

The balloons will rise above the sky over central Jersey around 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings, and Saturday and Sunday mornings, around 6:30 a.m.

Believe me, it’s worth getting up early.

There was no balloon festival last year, due to COVID-19, which allows walking on the grounds of Solberg Airport at Readington, all the more special.

Check out all the artisans and vendors and, of course, there is plenty of food.

“Max Weinberg’s Jukebox” hits the stage at 8 p.m. on Friday … Barenaked Ladies at 8 p.m. on Saturday … and Styx performs at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Big Joe Henry broadcasts live Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., on New Jersey 101.5

Buy your tickets at 1-800-HOT-AIR-9, or online at (Click here).

COVID-19 precautions are being taken and you can even get vaccinated at the New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning.

Vax up from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday or from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The eagle (and his friends) float high above the New Jersey landscape. (Photo by Craig Allen)

Hot air balloons are back, flying over the skies of central Jersey this weekend.

Enjoy the return of that Jersey summer tradition, with New Jersey 101.5.

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