Countdown to festival fun:

Balloon Festival Offers Out Of This World Family Entertainment

July 21, 2008

READINGTON, NJ — From the Earth to the Moon, the Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning offers three jam-packed days and nights of family entertainment, July 25-26-27, at Solberg Airport in Readington.
The Festival offers many new attractions this year. While many would love to touch the clouds in one of the giant hot air balloons, space is coming down to Earth for those who like to keep their feet on the ground. The NASA Exploration Experience from the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL is a traveling exhibit that will teach Festival-goers about NASA’s future plans, which include a return to the moon to build a lunar outpost. The Exploration Experience houses several interactive stations that allow visitors to explore the surface of the moon and even touch a moon rock as well as an I-MAX-like theater where you can “virtually” walk on the moon.
How about Flippenout with an extreme trampoline show? Featuring the best athletes in North America including Olympic medalists, Flippenout has performed throughout the world at NBA, NHL and other professional and collegiate sports venues as well as corporate and community events. These explosive shows, emceed to music, feature 25 feet of height, snowboards, skis, triple flips, crazy twists and much more!
Looking for something “stranger?” How about the Strange Fruit performing arts company from Melbourne, Australia? Strange Fruit produces and performs a remarkable style of work that fuses theater, dance and circus, using unique elevated themes. Perched atop 13-foot-high flexible poles, the troupe delivers a sublime performance of bending and swaying in the air, captivating and engaging audiences in absolute fascination.
Adding to our sports entertainment lineup with an even different twist, the Shockwave 4×4 Professional Monster Truck Racing Team will crush cars and kick up some dirt over the weekend, too. 
Back by popular demand is last year’s sensational Comcast Triple Play Galaxy of Thrills, the highest aerial act in the world! Galaxy Girl™ (Tina Winn) and husband John will again dazzle Festival-goers with their death-defying aerial thrill shows featuring the Globe of Death, a high speed motorcycle stunt show performed by two riders inside a 16-foot steel sphere; the 35-foot high Galaxy Wheel in which acrobatic routines are performed four stories above the ground without any safety equipment; and the Winns’ trademark 127-foot-high sway pole with its trapeze and aerial space platform where Galaxy Girl™ performs acrobatic maneuvers without a safety net.
There’s also the AT&T Pit Stop Challenge where visitors can try their luck at the replica stock car tire changing station that lets you experience all the thrills of being a part of Jeff Burton’s pit crew and compete for prizes. 
Children are invited to get in on the action by joining The Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning’s Kid’s Club, which allows children to get up-close-and-personal with up to 125 hot air balloons. Each member of the Kid’s Club will receive one (1) good-any-day children’s general admission ticket to the Festival, an exclusive Kid’s Club T-shirt, the opportunity to attend a hot air balloon tutorial with an official pilot, an official Kid’s Club membership card, an invitation onto the launch field during a balloon ascension (when accompanied by one adult guest), and a “Taste of Quick Chek” festival goody-bag. In addition, five (5) lucky Kid’s Club members will be chosen to be honorary Launch Directors (one per ascension) where they will be invited to the pre-launch pilot briefing and will give the official launch directions to the pilots prior to lift-off! Kid’s Club tickets are $15.00.
And of course there’s the serenity of the early morning mass balloon ascensions on Saturday and Sunday, the awe-inspiring spectacle of the sunset launches Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, a fireworks extravaganza Friday night and nighttime hot air balloon glow on Saturday. Add in the biggest concert lineup ever and you get what the Festival calls “Balloons, Tunes and Booms.” 
In between, there’s more fun at the Quick Chek Entertainment tent, the Family Fun Pavilion, plus amusement rides, interactive exhibits like the Horizon BCBSNJ blimp, hundreds of arts & crafts and food vendors, and product samples.
Tickets are $17 in advance through July 24 for adults, $7 for children ages 4-12. Tickets at the gate are $25 for adults, $10 for children ages 4-12. Children age 3 and under are free. Tickets are available at all Quick Chek store locations throughout New Jersey and Orange County, NY, by calling 1-800-HOT-AIR-9, or online at www.balloonfestival.com. VIP and concert ticket packages are also available.
Mass balloon ascensions and moon rocks. How’s that for reaching new heights!
Russ Mensch
Mensch & Company, Inc.
[email protected]