Third Eye Blind to perform at the 2016 QuickChek Balloon Festival

Hot air balloons at the 2015 QuickChek festival. (Lane Blackmer/for NewsWorks)

Hot air balloons at the 2015 QuickChek festival. (Lane Blackmer/for NewsWorks)

The 34th annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning returns to Readington this weekend.

One of the bands scheduled to play includes Third Eye Blind, which made headlines during the Republican National Convention when it critisized the GOP platform at a RNC sponsored event in Cleveland. 

Third Eye Blind will headline the Friday evening concert, while KC and the Sunshine Band help everyone get lifted on Saturday night. 

Billed as the largest balloon festival in the nation, nearly a hundred hot air balloons will take to the skies in twice daily mass ascensions (weather permitting). Look for gigantic specialty shape balloons like the 75-foot tall, 500 pound Piranha and the 115-foot tall, 440 pound Farmer Pig.

On Sunday afternoon, John Kay and Steppenwolf close out the festival with special guest Foghat.

There will be scores of craft and food vendors, amusement rides, plus family-friendly entertainment like jugglers, magicians, daredevil Brian “Human Fuse” Miser and Disney stars Dove Cameron and Ryan McCartan. A fireworks show follows the evening concert on Friday and an illuminated Balloon Glow will take place on Saturday night.

If a hot air balloon ride is on your bucket list, and you have the dough, there are sunrise and sunset flights (6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.) all weekend (sunset only on Friday). Morning rides cost $225 per person and evening flights cost $250.

General admission tickets cost $24 through July 27 or $35 afterwards for adults and $10 through July 27 or $15 from July 28 to July 31 for kids ages 4 to 12 years. Tickets include lawn seating for concerts.

Friday, July 29, 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, July 30, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, July 31, 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. – 39 Thor Solberg Rd., Whitehouse Station, NJ.

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