CELEBRATING 35 YEARS OF FAMILY FUN - A BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK
by Howard Freeman, Executive Producer, QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning
It started with flamboyant millionaire adventurer Malcolm Forbes, newspaper publisher Tom Curley, promoter Bill Lewis and friends bringing 10 balloons to the Union 76 truck stop in Bloomsbury, New Jersey for a weekend of ballooning in the summer of 1983.
This gathering would soon grow with Bill turning it into a festival. John Korff and I were looking to create a showcase event for New Jersey, met with Bill and took over the Festival in 1993. It only took a brief meeting with QuickChek for them to see the shared vision of a family oriented, community driven festival, and with their support we were able to add new components, such as live concerts and family attractions. We looked to bring in the biggest names in music, the coolest new special shaped balloons, and thanks to all of our corporate partners as well as all of you, we are now planning the 35th annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America. Or what we like to call the biggest party of the summer with 175,000 of our closest Balloonatic friends.
We are busy seeking new special-shaped balloons as well as bringing back some of your favorites, engaging concert headliners and their managers to see who is touring this summer, and scouring the country in search of hot attractions for this year’s Festival.
If there are any attractions that you are aware of that can add to the family friendly atmosphere of the festival, please email me at email@example.com and I will personally respond to each and every recommendation. Thanks!
We look forward to celebrating 35 years of family fun and the magic of ballooning with you!
Gentle breezes and soft landings,
BALLOON HISTORY … NOW AND THEN!
You can be part of history in 2017 when the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Association with PNC Bank celebrates its 35th anniversary, July 28-29-30 at Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ. Click here to learn more about the festival’s history and the history of ballooning!
The Festival wasn’t a festival when it started. Flamboyant millionaire adventurer Malcolm Forbes, newspaper publisher Tom Curley, Bill Lewis and friends brought 10 balloons to a local truck stop on Route 78 as a weekend gathering of balloon enthusiasts in 1983.
Lewis grew that first get-together into an annual festival, attracting 40 balloons and 40,000 people over a 10-year period and moving it to Solberg Airport. Looking to take what had become the New Jersey Festival of Ballooning to the next level, he sold the event to Howard Freeman and John Korff in 1993, who were looking for a showcase event to build around the Garden State.
Experts in promoting live events, they brought in more balloons and more attractions with an emphasis on affordable family entertainment. Live concerts were added.
Today, the 35th annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Association with PNC Bank is the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America. It is truly a must on anyone’s Summer list
of things to do --- more than 100 sport and special shaped hot air balloons will take to the skies twice each day in mass ascensions over the scenic Hunterdon County countryside. Upwards of 175,000 people and media outlets from around the world are expected at the Festival in 2017.
Look for future newsletters to learn more about the history of the Festival, our plans for our big 35th anniversary, and how you can be a part of our celebrating 35 years of affordable family fun including opportunities for you to go up, up and away on a magic carpet ride in the sky.
Ballooning Then: The History Of Balloon Flight!