🎈 There will be no New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning in summer 2024, according to the organizer

🎈 The Festival Group wants to "reimagine" and "refresh" the event before relaunching

🎈 Inflation and supply chain issues played a role in the decision, said the organizer

READINGTON — In a surprise move, the New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning will not take place in summer 2024.

“After months of difficult soul searching following this past year’s festival, the event’s organizers, The Festival Group, have made the extremely difficult decision to place it on a one-year hiatus in order to reimagine, refresh, and relaunch the next version of this great festival in 2025,” according to a statement.

The company has produced the annual three-day festival for the past 30 years, according to Howard Freeman, executive producer of The Festival Group. It usually took place during the last weekend in July at Solberg Airport in Readington.

Balloons over the NJ Festival of Ballooning
Balloons over the New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning (Erin Vogt, Townsquare Media NJ)

Since 1992, the family-oriented balloon festival has always been a first-class event at reasonable prices, Freeman said. But, coming out of the 2020 pandemic, there has been an exponential increase in operational costs, he said.

“Inflation, supply chain interruptions, vendors who went out of business during the pandemic, competition from scarce resources from festivals worldwide, along with drastically increased fees set by the musical talents, made it extremely difficult to present a quality event in its current form without passing rising costs onto our guests,” Freeman said.

In 2020, the New Jersey Lottery signed a multi-year deal to be the festival's title sponsor. The balloon festival is currently seeking additional investors and partners as part of the 2025 relaunch.

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