Patch is offering 50-percent off gate ticket prices to this weekend's 30th annual Festival of Ballooning. But you'll need to act quickly. The discounts are only available through this Sunday, May 20.
The festival, held Friday-Sunday, July 27-29, at Solberg Airport in Readington, offers much, much more than ballooning.
There are rides, an arts and crafts festival, yoga and Zumba demonstrations, and food—lots of it. Every evening, there will be a music concert and twice each day on Saturday and Sunday and once on Friday, more than 100 balloons will rise majestically into the sky.
And Patch will offer all attendees a chance to leave all your troubles behind and take a free tethered balloon ride. Just find our table at the festival and sign up for our e-mail newsletter.
To buy the discounted tickets, until May 20, use this link to buy tickets with the promotional code PATCH12, and you'll get adult tickets for just $15 (they're normally $30 at the gate). We suggest using the print-at-home option—it's easiest for most people. If you choose to have the tickets mailed to you, make sure you're buying general admission tickets for the code to work.
There will be five different musical concerts at the festival. On Friday night, July 27, Eddie Money brings his hits from the '70s and '80s to the festival. Saturday’s daytime concert is aimed at teens, while Saturday night welcomes Motown legend Smokey Robinson to the stage. Sunday’s teen concert stars R5 featuring Ross Lynch from the Disney Channel show Austin and Ally. Sunday’s final concert at 3:00 p.m. brings Poison's Bret Michaels to Readington.
If you want to watch the balloons take off, be at the festival grounds either in the early morning or early evening. Balloons need still air to launch, which is normally most likely around daybreak and at dusk, so the balloon ascensions are set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
"Think 'state fair' with balloons," Russ Mensch, a spokesman for the festival, "[We'll have] non-stop, affordable family entertainment, children's amusement rides, fireworks, a nighttime 'balloon glow,' the Running with the Balloons 5K race, the Quick Chek hospitality tent, hundreds of arts & crafts and food vendors, and lots, lots more."
The Festival of Ballooning starts Friday, July 27 (1 p.m. to 10 p.m.), and continues Saturday, July 28 (6 a.m. to 10 p.m.), and Sunday, July 29 (6 a.m. to 8 p.m.).
How to get there from here: See the driving directions on the festival's site.