Four months after QuickChek pulled out of the title sponsorship of New Jersey Festival of Ballooning after 27 years, hot air balloon enthusiasts and executive producer Howard Freeman can breathe a sigh of relief.
The New Jersey Lottery has signed a multi-year agreement to be the festival’s title sponsor.
“This is a win for the tens of thousands of people who come out each year for the unique opportunity to see the sky filled with balloons, see our great concerts, or enjoy a weekend of family entertainment,” Freeman said in a statement. “It’s a win for all the community causes we support. It’s also a win for the state, as we created the festival to showcase the many great things New Jersey has to offer.”
New Jersey Lottery first became a sponsor 20 years ago, and previously sponsored the festival’s Saturday night headliner concert.
“The festival will be a great platform for us to remind New Jersey about the Lottery’s 50th anniversary and all of our fun and entertaining lottery games,” said New Jersey Lottery Executive Director James Carey. “We’re thrilled to preserve this gem, which has meant so much to so many people across New Jersey for over 30 years.”
To mark the Lottery’s golden anniversary, this year’s signature special shape hot air balloon at the festival will be an 80-foot-tall anniversary cake.
The three-day festival, in its 38th year, will feature up to 100 giant hot air balloons with two flights each daily, a concert series, fireworks, a night time hot air balloon glow, and family entertainment.
The festival attracted 169,500 attendees last year from all 21 counties in the state, as well as hot air balloon pilots from 24 states and two countries. The festival has raised more than $3 million to date to benefit local charities.