Road trip: NJ Festival of Ballooning flies high for 38th year

ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING, at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING, at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
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By Jeff Sovelove

The QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning soared above Solberg airport in Readington over the weekend despite a week of rainy weather and fog that blanketed the area. 

Buddhist monks enjoy a day out at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Buddhist monks enjoy a day out at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove

The fog forced a short hold, and the threat of thunderstorms prompted officials to relocate the launching area from the muddy field to the end of runway 22.

Unable to do their usual mass ascension, officials instead launched eight to 10 balloons at a time. Soon the skies were filled with colorful sights.

 

 

FLYING HIGH, SLIDESHOW PHOTOS BY JEFF SOVELOVE. HOVER/ CLICK ON IMAGES FOR CAPTIONS:

ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING, at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Gassing up at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Dan and his son Ethan, 2, of Washington, NJ, appear to have different opinions of the balloon ride at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Panoramic view at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Panorama of the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Tweety Bird at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
PNC Bank balloon at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
PNC Bank balloon at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
ALL ABOARD! The QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
ALL FIRED UP, at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
A creepy yet cheerful balloon rises out of the fog at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
RISING YEAST? Wonderbread at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The Bimbo Bear at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
PANDA-MONIUM at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Balloons everywhere, at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
FIGHTER ESCORT for the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
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Crowd favorites included Tweety Bird, Elvis (complete with sequined jumpsuit) and the Wonder Bread balloon. 

SECURITY WAS TIGHT at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
SECURITY WAS TIGHT at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove

PNC Bank brought the largest flying American Flag balloon, much to everyone’s delight. 

Other perennial favorites included the Bimbo (pronounced “bee-mbo”) bear, a giant Panda, and tethered balloon rides for the adventurous.

There also were traditional fair favorites like kettle corn, the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, rides for the kids, free samples, and of course hot dogs. 

It turned out to be a beautiful day, with the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning flying high for the 38th year in a row.

HALF THE FUN’S ON THE GROUND: BALLOON FEST SLIDESHOW BY JEFF SOVELOVE. HOVER/ CLICK ON IMAGES FOR CAPTIONS:

TWEETING at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Buddhist monks enjoy a day out at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Unfurling at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
HOLDING ON at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
ELVIS TAKES A BREAK at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
WHADDYA MEAN, IT'S A NO-FLY ZONE? The QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Tweety Bird and Rocky at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
SECURITY WAS TIGHT at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
CATCHING A SNOOZE at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
FILL 'ER UP! The QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
MAKING READY at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
COMMERCIAL BREAK at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
READY FOR TAKEOFF at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
NUTS TO YOU, at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
GRINNING AND BEARING IT at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
OH, I WISH I WERE AN... at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
THE WONDER OF IT ALL, at the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
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FIGHTER ESCORT for the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
FIGHTER ESCORT for the QuickCheck NJ Festival of Ballooning, July 28, 2018. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
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