Countdown to festival fun:

Balloon Festival Enjoys Sunshine & Record Crowds

August 15, 2019

Donations to the Community Reach $3 Million
READINGTON, NJ — With a 115-foot-tall flying lighthouse and colorful hot air balloons filling the sky and a sun-drenched concert from The Beach Boys, it was only fitting that the largest party of the summer enjoyed blue skies and record crowds.
The 37th annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Association with PNC Bank lived up to its reputation as the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America as 169,500 people enjoyed the magic of ballooning,  headlining concerts and family entertainment including fireworks and a nighttime balloon glow, July 26-28. 
It was the second-highest attended festival in history with a record crowd on the final day of the three-day event.
Under abundant sunshine and little to no winds, the skies over Central New Jersey were filled with the awe-inspiring sight of 100 sport and special shaped hot air balloons which took flight twice each day Friday, Saturday and Sunday to the delight of the packed crowds at Solberg Airport in Readington as all six of the festival’s mass balloon ascensions took place.
The 1-story-tall QuickChek Flighthouse was one of 10 special shaped balloons to fly this year along with crowd favorites including the PNC American Flag and Simba the Lion balloons. Known for bringing in the newest and best shapes, new balloons this year featured a pair of 86-foot-tall cops and robbers, a 98-foot-tall frog, and a 100-foot-tall High Kitty. 
The legendary Beach Boys, country-pop sensations The Band Perry, ABBA The Concert and children’s recording artists Dan Zaines and Claudia Eliaza headlined the Festival’s live concert series.
More than 3,750 people purchased hot air balloon rides and tethered balloon rides as the unique experiences the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning has to offer continue to grow in popularity. A wheelchair accessible balloon was added this year so that people with disabilities could experience the magic of ballooning. 
In keeping with its belief in “doing well by doing good,” the festival has now raised $3 million for dozens of local charities, non-profit groups and children’s hospitals the past 27 years. Among these beneficiaries is the Whitehouse First Aid & Rescue Squad, which provides medical treatment services at the annual event using many different types of EMS units throughout the airport including bikes, ATVs and ambulances.
“Volunteer organizations are one of the many reasons the festival is so successful year after year,” said Festival Executive Producer Howard Freeman. “They provide many services, either behind the scenes or directly, such as the Whitehouse Rescue Squad, which provides medical services throughout the festival weekend. The Festival, QuickChek and PNC, are all very proud that we can continue to give back and support our community.”
“PNC Bank is again pleased to make a financial contribution this year to support the dedicated efforts of the Whitehouse First Aid & Rescue Squad to ensure the health and safety of all festival patrons,” said Joe Whall, PNC Senior Vice President and Director of Client & Community Relations.
Other organizations who benefited from performing various functions at this year’s festival include the Raritan PBA, Readington Volunteer Fire Company, Readington Township Community Emergency Response Team, Flemington Food Pantry, New Jersey Civil Air Patrol, Kiwanis of Bordentown, Navy Ball Committee (Lakehurst, NJ), Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Readington Reformed Church, Reformed Protestant Dutch Church, the Somerville High School Marching Band Boosters, Spruce Run Lutheran Church, Teen Challenge New Jersey, Girls on the Run, Teams for Kids Foundation, and Gigi’s Playhouse.
Russ Mensch
Mensch & Company, Inc.
Public Relations & Event Marketing
phone: 201-797-2448
email: [email protected]