02/20/2018 2:31 PM
READINGTON, NJ --- Give the kids what they want.
Best-selling children’s recording artist and preschool television favorite Laurie Berkner --- recognized as the “queen of children’s music” by People magazine --- will return with an encore performance to headline this year’s children’s concert at this summer’s 36th annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Association with PNC Bank.
Presented by Hackensack Meridian Health, the singer-songwriter will perform on the Festival’s Opening Day, Friday, July 27 at 1:30 p.m. on the Progressive Insurance Main Stage at Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ.
The Princeton, NJ native has released 12 best-selling albums.
“For the second year in a row, Hackensack Meridian Health is absolutely proud to be a sponsor of the award-winning QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning and presenting sponsor of Laurie Berkner’s opening day performance,” said Robert C. Garrett, co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “Similar to how we approach our mission, Ms. Berkner is committed to providing an exceptional experience and we applaud her.”
“Laurie was a huge hit last year, we’re thrilled to have her back with us,” said Festival Executive Producer Howard Freeman. “Having a dedicated concert for children ages 2-8 provided families with a new and very memorable experience last year. She’s a great talent who connects with the kids; it’s an enjoyable way for families to start their day at the Festival.”
The annual three day event, July 27-28-29, 2018 is the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America and has been named the premiere family attraction in New Jersey. The Festival features twice a day mass ascensions of 100 sport and special shaped hot air balloons from around the world, a live concert series, fireworks, a nighttime hot air balloon glow, children’s amusement rides, family entertainment, attractions and activities.
“Hackensack Meridian Health is thrilled to be part of this premiere event that earned its place as a Top 100 Festival in North America,” said John K. Lloyd, co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “This is a tremendous event and adding Laurie Berkner to the festivities elevates it even further. She is an amazing talent enjoyed by children and adults alike.”
“This is also a great opportunity for summer camps throughout the region to go outside the box and offer kids an entirely new and different experience,” added Freeman.
A longtime fixture on TV’s Nick Jr. and Sprout channels, Laurie was the first recording artist to ever appear in a music video on Nick Jr. and was a beloved presence on Jack’s Big Music Show. Her music videos now appear regularly on NBC Universal’s Universal Kids channel.
Berkner’s debut DVD went quadruple platinum and was the first-ever indie children’s music DVD to enter Billboard’s Top Music Video chart at #1.
What sets the Rutgers graduate apart? Her music speaks to kids without talking down to them, charming youngsters without boring grownups.
“When I’m writing a song, I’m thinking about whether the kids will like it and whether I’m going to connect to them through it,” said Berkner. “I’m also thinking about whether I want to sing it over and over again, so I guess that’s the part that connects with adults.”
Berkner has also authored numerous books based on her songs and Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers will publish her third picture book, Monster Boogie, in July.
Tickets, which include VIP meet-and-greet opportunities, go on sale Thursday, Feb. 22 at 10:00 a.m. at www.balloonfestival.com.
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