balloonThe month of July offers an amazing array of choices for the recreational resident or thrill-seeking tourist. From mountain to beach to ballpark to state park, there is just too much to do with the limited amount of vacation time we get. But let’s face it. There are some things you can do anytime. Wanna hit the Shore? It’s there every day, rain or shine. There are exciting minor league baseball games being played at any given time from Atlantic City to Trenton, the amusement parks and rides are always running. But there is one three-day weekend you need to set aside because what happens then only comes once a year. Welcome to the 34th Annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning.
And now a few fun facts about the art and science of ballooning:

* The first manned balloon flight launched with only a duck, a rooster, and a sheep in the basket.
* Benjamin Franklin witnessed the first balloon flight in Paris in 1783
*  Early balloons were attacked by the landowners with stones, clubs, and pitchforks as they landed, since the landowners believed the balloons to be “fire-breathing monsters.”
* The first balloon sighting in the United States was recorded in the Southwest by a tribe of American Indians known as the Heck-ar-wees. The chief was reported to have exclaimed “IT IS BALLOON!”

And here are a few things you can expect to experience at the upcoming festival:
* Pigs, Pirahnas and Pelicans. Teddy Bear, Panda Bear and Bimbo Bear. For those of you a little slow on the uptake, yes, those are balloons.
* Red Bull Air Force Skydive and Wingsuit Demonstration. So does the Red Bull make them want to jump out of the plane quicker or do they just fly really     really fast? Wingsuit or wingnut? Either way, they are phenomenal.
* Running with the Balloons. OK, it’s not exactly Dances with Wolves or Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but a 5K race and fun run in this setting     might just make you want to run faster (see Red Bull, above).
* Saturday Night Balloon Glow. I’m pretty sure by Saturday night some revelers might have a pretty good glow on themselves.
* Funnel Cake
* Money. The nation’s largest summertime outdoor balloon and music festival attracts over 150,000 people each year and pumps $42.7 million into state     and local economies.
* Third Eye Blind, KC & the Sunshine Band, Steppinwolf and Foghat. These are either music superstars from then and now or strange sartorial choices.
* No Trump no Hilary no Bernie. The hot air will be reserved exclusively for the balloons.

For the facts and the fun visit the official festival website:

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