REBECCA MENSCH/MENSCH PR / New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning

Up in the sky: it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s 100 gigantic hot air balloons!

The New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning, one of the largest hot air balloon and music festivals in North America, will celebrate its 40th anniversary this summer.


Specially shaped hot air balloons include a new bright pink 65-foot-tall, 750-pound Lucky Pig from the New Jersey Lottery. Look for an old-time balloon with a sheep, a duck and a rooster (the first-ever hot air balloon passengers), and a pair of 110-foot-tall bumblebees who hold hands and kiss mid-flight. “Star Wars” fans will go crazy for the 86-foot-tall Darth Vader and a 62-foot-tall Yoda. There’s also a new 100-foot-tall penguin balloon for animal lovers.

The colorful balloons take flight twice each day, typically in the morning and evening when the wind is calmer.


Other attractions include the New Jersey Lottery “Lottery Land” VIP entertainment complex, children’s amusement rides, interactive exhibits and experiences, and hundreds of vendors and food options.

This event draws big talent, too. Laurie Berkner will perform a kids’ concert at 1:30 pm Friday. Everclear and Lit will perform at 7:30 pm Friday. KC and The Sunshine Band will perform at 8 pm Saturday. Fitz and the Tantrums will perform at 3:30 pm Sunday.

On Sunday, sign up for the Trinity Solar Running With the Balloons 5K. Join more than 1,000 runners on a low-impact course with all the balloons in the backdrop.


If you can’t get enough of the high-flying action, then look up and you’ll see the Fearless Flores Family ride motorcycles together at high speeds inside a giant metal ball of death. Mom Arcelia risks her life atop a 55-foot-tall sway pole that swings from side to side – untethered, and without a net.


Daughter Viana – the “Princess of Motorcycle Daredevils” – will be the first rider inside the legendary Globe of Death giant metal ball. Son Volorian rides his motorcycle at high speeds inside the ball around Arcelia, who will be standing in the middle of the action. Father Ricardo then joins Volorian as a second motorcyclist racing inside the ball. Viana will simultaneously spin 12 plates during the show’s second act.

After the performance, you can meet the family and take lots of selfies inside the Globe of Death.


If you are feeling adventurous, you can take a hot air balloon ride. Times are 6:30 am or 6:30 pm and the price ranges from $275-$350 per person. There’s also a VIP sunrise brunch you can enjoy while watching the morning launch.

The event schedule is 1-10 pm July 28, 6 am – 10 pm July 29, and 6 am – 8 pm July 30. The festival is held at Solberg Airport, 30 Thor-Solberg Rd., Whitehouse Station. Admission is $24-$139 for adults; $10 for kids ages 4-12; and free for kids 3 and younger.

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