Countdown to festival fun:

Festival FAQ

Why do the mass balloon ascensions occur at specific times of day?

It is safest to launch hot air balloons when the surface winds are less than 6-8 mph. As the sun heats up the atmosphere, it creates breezes, otherwise known as "thermals." Therefore, the best time to launch the balloons is while the air is still cool (shortly after sunrise or about an-hour-and-a-half before sunset).

How do I get to the festival using public transportation?

The Festival is held at Solberg Airport in Hunterdon County, NJ. Unfortunately, this beautiful rural setting is not accessible via mass transportation. We encourage carpooling with family and friends.

Can I bring a tent and/or an umbrella?

Tents are not allowed. Umbrellas are allowed but we would like you to be wary of your neighbors, please don't block their view. If our staff sees that you are blocking other people's view during the ascensions, we reserve the right to ask you to take it down for that time period or move you to the side away from the crowd so everyone can have a great view of the balloons or other events that might be going on around you.

Is the festival handicap accessible?

As with all special events and festivals, The New Jersey Festival of Ballooning reserves areas closest to the festival admission gates for vehicles displaying the proper handicapped parking tags. (Please make sure these tags are clearly visible, so police and parking personnel can direct you to the proper parking area.)

The main pedestrian thoroughfares (the airport’s runway and taxiway) are paved surfaces, and easily traversed by wheelchairs, people with walkers, etc. However, please be aware that there are a number of important attractions (the balloon launch area, corporate hospitality village, family fun center, etc.) which can only be reached by traveling over stretches of grassy fields. If the ground is saturated with rain, it can make the going a little bit slow.

Sorry, the festival does not offer wheelchair or cart rental. There are a limited number of “customer service” golf carts which are available to transport patrons to the parking lots from various points throughout the festival grounds. The main parking lots are outfitted with “Patron Trolleys” designed to help get people back to their vehicles.

What are my camping options?

While you cannot camp on the festival grounds, there are camping options nearby.

When is the best time to come to the festival?

While there is non-stop family entertainment throughout each day of the festival, if you want to see balloons, the best time to come is early in the morning to watch the 6:30 am ascension or in the mid-afternoon to watch the 6:30 pm ascension. Helpful hint: Traffic builds up around 4:00 pm on Saturday, so plan to arrive early- or mid-afternoon. That will give you plenty of time to walk the festival grounds, visit our crafters, vendors and interactive displays, and take in the wide variety of entertainment before the evening balloon launch.

Do you know of any hotels in the area?

Please visit our Hotel Accomodations page to learn more about our Preferred Hotel Partner. An internet search will also provide you with other options in the area.

Are there parking options other than Solberg Airport?

The festival offers the convenience of 80+ acres of on-site parking.

Unfortunately, there is no mass transit (buses or trains) that goes directly to Solberg Airport.

Can I bring a cooler with food and beverage into the festival?

Coolers, bottles and food are not permitted on the festival grounds for safety reasons. The festival provides an assortment of unique foods at our concessionaire stands.

Can I bring a pet into the festival?

Only service animals (defined below) are allowed on festival grounds. If your pet is not a service animal, please make arrangements to leave your beloved pets at home during your trip to the festival.

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

This definition does not affect or limit the broader definition of “assistance animal” under the Fair Housing Act or the broader definition of “service animal” under the Air Carrier Access Act.

Some State and local laws also define service animal more broadly than the ADA does. Information about such laws can be obtained from the State attorney general’s office.

What is a Balloon Glow?

The signature event at a hot air balloon festival, the balloon glow has been compared to Christmas in July or flickering Japanese lanterns. At predetermined signals, the pilots blast the propane burners, which releases a burst of fire into the balloon. The balloons "glow" like huge fireflies, a truly magical scene, and one not to be missed! The balloon glow occurs during the Saturday evening concert beginning at sundown.

Do I have to buy a VIP Reserved Concert Seat in order to see the concert?

No. While a VIP Reserved Concert Seat ticket does secure you a seat in the reserved concert seating section, a general admission ticket allows you to see and hear the concert from outside the seating section. It is similar to lawn seating at any outdoor amphitheatre, such as the PNC Arts Center. Aditionally, the Festival does offer VIP treatment that does not include a reserved concert seat. Our VIP ICELANDIC GLACIAL Blue Sky Club Membership includes all of the VIP amenities without the reserved concert seat. For more ICELANDIC GLACIAL Blue Sky Club info, visit our VIP Experiences page.

Can I take a balloon ride?

Absolutely. A hot air balloon ride is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Perhaps the most awe-inspiring experience is floating along in a balloon surrounded by up to 75 other spectacularly-colored aircraft. Might we suggest taking a ride during the morning ascension? A sunrise balloon ride is truly magical. The early wake-up call is well worth the trouble. For more information, visit our Balloon Rides page.

How close can I get to the balloons?

While the FAA mandates that we fence in the balloon launch area for safety purposes, you can easily secure a prime viewing spot along the 1,800 foot flight line to view these magnificent and colorful balloons. Attending the morning ascensions on both Saturday and Sunday, enables you to get the best, unobstructed view. The most comfortable and closest view of the massive balloon launch is in our VIP area, the ICELANDIC GLACIAL Blue Sky Club. This experience offers an array of exclusive benefits that give you first-class treatment. Otherwise, the balloons are visible from anywhere within the festival grounds. If you want to be up close and personal, the festival offers balloon rides and tethered balloon rides.

What goes on at the festival other than watching the balloons?

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! With colorful hot air balloons ascending twice daily to headling concerts, to world-class children's entertainment, to hundred's of arts & crafters, to food vendors from around the world, a spectacular drone light show, balloon glows and more, to amusement rides, we guarantee non-stop entertainment for the entire family! Click HERE for a complete list of entertainment.

Where should I go in case I am in need of medical attention at the festival?

If for any reason you feel you are in need of medical attention during the festival, please immediately go to the First Aid Tent where the experienced team of EMS professionals will care for you and provide the help needed. The First Aid Tent is located on the Airport’s Taxiway, near the permanent Solberg Airport Administration building. View the Festival Map for details. Additionally, any festival staff member or worker can help contact our First Aid services and get you immediate help.