Countdown to festival fun:

Female Human Cannonball Is Back With A Bang

July 12, 2015

READINGTON, NJ — The balloons won’t be the only thing launched at the upcoming QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning.
Jennifer Smith, one of just three known female human cannonballers in the world, is back with a bang at this year’s Festival, July 24-25-26, at Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ. And she’s excited as always. After all, work’s a blast.
Yep, the 39-year-old mother of two spends up to 200 days a year traveling the globe being shot out of a 27-foot-long cannon at fairs, festivals, and amusement parks. To her there’s nothing odd about it, its how she grew up.
“It was just what my dad was,” said Smith, who is known as the “Cannon Lady” and has been a human cannonball since she was 16 years old. “I didn’t think it was strange until I was older. My dad did it, and so did my older sister. So being a typical kid I wanted to do what my sister was doing.”
It’s been the family business since 1975 when her father, Dave “Cannonball” Smith, quit catching other aerial artists, built a cannon and began flying through the air. He holds the Guinness World’s Record for the longest human cannonball flight, traveling at more than 70 miles per hour for a distance of more than 185 feet.
“I love my lifestyle and love the travel,” said Smith, a Missouri resident who has performed more than 3,000 successful launches in 11 countries and throughout the United States.
The 5-foot-2-inch Smith spends her day carefully preparing for her performances, checking the mechanics of the cannon as well as the wind and temperatures which can affect the cannon, her net, and her flight. At the appointed time she climbs all the way down the barrel of the 36-inch wide, 27-foot-long cannon to be shot through the air at a height of 60 feet, safely landing seconds later into a 19-foot-by-52-foot net some 125 feet away.
“I just love the flying through the air part,” said Smith. “The cannon scares me, but not the flight.”
“The Cannon Lady has proven to be one of our most popular attractions,” said Festival Executive Producer Howard Freeman. “We know she’ll once again be the highlight of the JCP&L Family Fun Center as we offer our attendees thrills and attractions all weekend long.”
Presented by Star 99.1 FM, Smith is scheduled to perform at the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Association with PNC Bank twice on Friday, July 24; three times on Saturday, July 25; and three times on Sunday, July 26. Her Sunday morning flight will be a little different than normal: instead of the Festival shooting a pistol to start its “Advil® Running with the Balloons” 5K Cross-Road Challenge Race, they’ll shoot Smith out of a cannon.
To find her performance times and to purchase tickets, which includes admission into the Festival, the balloon launches, and lawn seating for concerts, visit www.balloonfestival.com.
Russ Mensch
Mensch & Company, Inc.
Public Relations & Event Marketing
phone: 201-797-2448
email: [email protected]