This past weekend I went to the New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning, and I was absolutely blown away.

I have always wanted to do the 6 a.m. mass ascension of the hot air balloons, but for the past couple years I was either working the event or I was too busy to go. But this year, I was ready to go, I woke up at 5 a.m. and got dressed and headed to Solberg Airport in Readington, New Jersey.

Once inside the festival, I headed over to the field where the balloons would be flying from. There was a great crowd of people all prepared with their chairs, blankets and way too many cameras to count! Also, the sunrise was absolutely stunning on Saturday morning.

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Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
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The balloons did get blown up in the morning, with the panda being the first to inflate and the first to be taken down, sadly. It was too windy for the balloons to fly, but many of them still inflated and they were spectacular to see.

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Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
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Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
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Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
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Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
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I went back later in the evening on Saturday for the 7 p.m. ascension since I didn’t get to see the balloons fly in the morning. The field was packed with people, all anxiously awaiting the balloons take off.

Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
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The first balloon to take off was the Wonder Bread balloon and they kept on coming from there.

Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
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Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
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Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
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Watching all of the balloons float off into the distance was one of the most gorgeous sights I’ve ever seen. Here are some of my favorite pictures I took at the festival, they captured a lot of the balloons drifting off and how blue the sky was.

Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
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Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
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The festival also has so many amazing local vendors, they had so many different things to offer including guitar string jewelry, pottery, vintages clothing, hot air balloon replicas and more. Check out some of the vendors that were there:

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Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
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Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
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Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
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Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
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Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
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Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
Jordan Jansson/Townsquare Media
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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5's Jordan Jansson. Any opinions expressed are her own.

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This has to be the best farmers market in New Jersey

If you’re looking for a great farmers market, you have to visit the Summit Farmers Market. This year they have over 50 vendors, offering a large selection of great produce from various local farmers, lots of specialty foods and more. There is also plenty of free parking. My dog and I went for a visit last week and took pictures of what they have to offer.

Vendors Not Pictured:

  • Adventure Kitchen
  • Angel Planet Foods
  • Anita's Baked Wonders
  • Bull 'N Bear Brewery
  • Fit Fed Puppy
  • Foraged Feast
  • Hummus Boss
  • Jana's Jammy
  • Java's Compost
  • Kariba Farms
  • Louis Organics
  • Luxx Chocolat
  • Made with Clay
  • Mangalitsa
  • Our Woods Maple Syrup
  • Roaming Acres Farm
  • Spice Sisters
  • Stefan's Polish Foods
  • Sustainable Haus
  • Valley Shepherd Creamery
  • WoodsEdge Farm

The Summit Farmers Market will be open every Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will last until November 20th. The market is located at Park & Shop Lot #1 on the corner of DeForest Avenue and Woodland Avenue.

Below are photos of some of the local vendors joining the farmers market this season:

LOOK: 31 breathtaking images from NASA's public library

In 2017, NASA opened the digital doors to its image and video library website, allowing the public to access more than 140,000 images, videos, and audio files. The collection provides unprecedented views of space. Stacker reviewed the collection to select 31 of the most breathtaking images, including the first from the James Webb Space Telescope. Keep reading to see these stunning images, curated with further information about the captured scenes.