NJ’s giant hot air balloon festival is set to return to the skies this summer

The big balls come back.

After being postponed and then canceled last year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the 38th annual New Jersey Hot Air Balloon Lottery Festival is set to return in July.

The event, which bills itself as the largest summer hot air balloon and music festival in North America, will go ahead as scheduled July 23-25 ​​at Solberg Airport in the Township of Readington.

Howard Freeman, the festival’s executive producer, said the event will follow all COVID-19 guidelines and protocols enforced by the state, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other local agencies in July.

“After the 1918 pandemic came the ‘Roaring Twenties’, and if early sales are any indication, we expect a similar reaction this summer with people wanting to be outdoors, have fun and hang out. safe with friends and family,” Freeman said. in a statement shared with NJ Advance Media. “The size and openness of Solberg Airport allows us to create a safe environment to host the Festival and produce the unforgettable memories that people enjoy.”

Alternative rock band Barenaked Ladies have been chosen to headline the festival’s Saturday night concert, and classic rock band Styx are set to perform on Sunday afternoon. More performers and entertainment will be announced soon, according to the release.

New special-shaped hot air balloons appearing this year include a colorful unicorn and a giant sloth. More special balloons will be announced closer to the festival.

The 2019 balloon festival drew a record crowd of about 169,500 people and contributed an estimated $52.4 million to the state’s economy, according to festival organizers.

Advance tickets are available now on the festival website.

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Caroline Fassett can be contacted at [email protected].

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