Hot Air Balloons will once again take to the skyways the weekend of Sept. 24-26 (Friday-Sunday) when the 1st Annual Warren County Hot Air Balloons, Fun and Games Festival launches at Warren Community College launches at its Washington Township campus on Route 57.
The event, which runs until 8 p.m. each night, is more than just hot air balloons. This event is intended as a community-wide celebration with non-profits invited to participate and use the 3-day affair to raise funds for their respective organizations.
“This is our way of not only including the community but also giving the non-profits an opportunity and place to set up a booth so that they can make it a fundraiser,” said Event Organizer Giulia Grotenhuis, who is working with Warren Community College in presenting this event. “The past year has been a tough one for non-profits and hopefully they can participate and raise money for their groups.”
The event is family-friendly, with many activities for children. Non-profits are encouraged to come and set up a children's game.
A drone racing tournament on Saturday will be one of the event's highlights, with drone demonstrations throughout each day. The drone racing tournament will begins at 10 am. Limited to 40 participants for this big race with some big cash prizes so advanced registration is recommended. Additionally on Saturday at 7 p.m. there will be a Balloon Glow. Also appearing will be Fred G. Monster.
Hot air balloons are scheduled to lift off around 5 p.m. each night. Other activities are still in the planning stages.
Another highlight will be the 1st Annual Sky's the Limit Bike Show on Saturday Sept. 25 hosted by Rolling Thunder Chapter 3 NJ. Registration for this fundraiser for the organization is from 3-5 p.m. with judging and awards at 7 p.m. for several categories: People’s Choice, Best Custom, Best Chopper, Best Classic, Best Touring, and Best Trike. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the bike show go to Rolling Thunder.
On Sunday there will be a Car & Truck Show with registration beginning at 2 p.m. Just a $10 donation with proceeds going to the future Fred T. Grotenhuis Veteran Community Center. This includes music by DJ GLDN from 4-7, with awards ceremony at 6:30, in the following categories: Antiques (older than 1996), Classics, Customs, Camaros, Corvettes, Imports, Jeeps, Mustangs, Rods, Special Interest, and Trucks.
Among the musical entertainment throughout the weekend will be singer, Dani Doll, follow by the Green Planet Band on Friday from 6-8 p.m. On Saturday, DJ GLDN kicks off at 3 with Music and Movement, followed by singer, Dani Doll. Local Favorite, Jeff Bellfy Band, entertains the crowd on Sunday from 4-8 p.m.
Discounted advanced tickets for the event are available at www.balloonfestnj.com for $8 (adults), $4 (children), and $5 for parking, through September 22. Day of show it is $10, $5 and $10 respectively.
In addition to providing a venue for non profits to do fundraising, proceeds from the event will also support several charities. The event will again support the Warren Community College Foundation, as well as the Fred T. Grotenhuis Veterans Community Center project and the Fred Grotenhuis scholarships (fredgscholarships.org).
Warren Community College has plenty of lawn to spread out and social distance. Pets, food and alcoholic beverages are prohibited (with the exception of snacks & beverages for small children).
Feel free to bring blankets and lawn chairs.
Any Covid-19 rules issued by the state at the time of the event will be in place.
Visit www.balloonfestnj.com/more-festivals.html for pricing on admission, parking, tethered and full balloon flight, and for online tickets for admission and balloon rides. Organizers are currently seeking more vendors and non-profit/organizations that wish to participate. The application may also be found on the website.
Organizers are looking for participation for all events, whether you are an artist, a non-profit with fundraising needs or a pilot.