Warren County Community College is getting ready to launch the first of three hot air balloon festivals in the county with the Warren County Hot Air Balloons, Arts & Crafts Festival on June 3 through June 6, 2021. (Hurricane Date: Thursday June 10 through June 13.)
Although this will be the first event of its kind at the College, this is not the first balloon festival held at the venue.
Last year when the Warren County Farmers’ Fair – an event that had hosted the balloons for 19 years – cancelled, long time sponsor Warren County Community College and the balloon festival organizer, Giulia Grotenhuis, teamed up to bring the community some flying fun at the college's Washington campus, with a plan plan was to return to the larger event in 2021.
The flying festival proved to be quite popular, with many of the visitors driving more than two hours to attend. If you live in Warren County, you recognize that once people come out and get a taste of our natural beauty, history and hospitality, they want more. So the team decided to give the people more!
This year the balloon festival organizers and Warren County Community College team up again for two more festivals at the College. For Warren County fairgoers, rest assured the balloons will return to the event that will run from Saturday, July 31 to Saturday August 7, at the Fairgrounds in Harmony Township.
The gates for the June event will open on Thursday, June 3 at 2pm. The event kicks off with singer Dani Doll, who will play classic folk rock and country, from 2-5pm, followed by DJ GOLDN Music & Movement, with a dance party from 6-9pm.
On Friday from 2-5pm, DJ Mitch will entertain the crowd, followed by local favorites, Bobby Clark Band, on Friday night from 6-9pm.
On Saturday from 2-5pm, S.C.3. Entertainment gets the crowd moving, followed by DJ John Harvey for a dance party from 6-9pm.
DJ GOLDN returns for another dance party on Sunday from 2-5pm, followed by local favorites, Naked Jake Band, on Sunday night from 6-9pm. All entertainment is included in the admission price.
Thursday is Play Day at the festival with more free events! World-renowned artist, Ryan Paul Simmons, will be on site working with children on The Big Picture. Ryan will be helping them create a cooperative masterpiece to be auctioned off for our charities at a later date. Children are invited to join Ryan from 3-6pm. Keep in mind children will be handling paints, so make sure they are dressed for the potential mess.
Have Huey Will Travel will have their Bell Helicopter "Huey", a rare survivor of the Vietnam War, on display from 2 - 7:30pm. Children of all ages can get inside, pretend they are piloting, and learn the story of this historic aircraft. The aircraft has quite a history, as it began her service life with the U.S. Army in November of 1967. She served in Vietnam from October 1968 to August 1970 with the 119th AHC, and then again March 1971 until September 1971 with a gunship platoon the 174th AHC, that went by the name “Sharks”.
This display is a special tribute to Fred Grotenhuis, the founder of the Hot Air Balloon Festival at the Warren County Farmers’ Fair. Fred was a Huey helicopter pilot that served in Vietnam, and continues to be with us in spirit at the balloon festivals and Farmers' Fair.
Proceeds from the event will support the Warren County Community College Foundation, as well as the Fred T. Grotenhuis Veterans Community Center project and the Fred Grotenhuis scholarships (fredgscholarships.org).
In addition there will be Arts & Crafts vendors and exhibitors, a variety of food trucks, and other children’s activities from 2-9pm.
If you have never attended a hot air balloon festival before, here is what to expect: Balloons are normally on display in the evenings, prior to the scheduled launch time. One tether balloon will set up around 3pm for tethered rides. For $15 per person, take a short trip up and down for a nice view of the festivities from the air. The timing may change if the winds are not conducive to handling the balloon in a safe manner.
To date, 20 balloons are schedule to attend, include the sponsor balloon of presenting sponsor, Alston Construction LLC, as well as sponsor Unity Bank and RE/MAX. Balloons are powered by AmeriGas. The event is also supported in part by a grant from the NJ Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism. (VisitNJ.org). Festival sponsors also include the Explore Warren County Tourism Partnership, which brings you this website, www.ExploreWarren.org, and the Warren County Wanderings e-newsletter. Balloon festival organizations thank all of the sponsors and host for supporting ther event, to provide our communities with a destination as the State begins to return to a more normal routine.
The Warren County 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, lawn chairs, small games like quoits and corn hole.
We will follow any Covid-19 rules issued by the State at the time of our event.
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 artists and crafters that wish to participate. The application may also be found on the website.
The Warren County Hot Air Balloons, Arts & Crafts is the first of 3 balloon festivals planned in Warren County, NJ. Be sure to also save the dates for the Warren County Farmers’ Fair & Hot Air Balloon Festival, Warren County Fairgrounds In Harmony Township, Saturday, July 31 through Saturday, August 7, 2021. It's so much more than just a county fair! Carnival rides, entertainment, car, truck & tractor shows. And of course, hot air balloons! Visit www.warrencountyfarmersfair.org for all the details on hours, pricing & schedule of event.
The balloon pilots will be back again at the Warren County Community College with the Warren County Hot Air Balloons, Fun & Games Festival, Thursday, September 23 - Sunday, September 26, 2021. This event will feature “competitions” like car, motorcycle shows. Drone racing, quoits, archery, carnival type games, run by local organizations for their fundraising. If your organization fundraising efforts were curtailed by Covid-19, start brainstorming and join us at this event of Fun & Games!
Organizers are looking for participation for all events, whether you are an artist, a non profit with fundraising needs or a pilot. Inquiries can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org.