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    Quick Chek Festival of Ballooning Lifts Off

    This weekend's event in Readington, N.J., is expected to draw at least 150,000 people.

    READINGTON, N.J. -- The Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning returns today, Saturday and Sunday, and is expected to draw a crowd of at least 150,000 to enjoy the hot air balloons, live music, family entertainment and festival food, according to a report by the Scarlet Scuttlebutt.

    Howard Freeman, the event’s executive producer, said he is confident plans are in place for a successful event without headaches for local residents.

    Once festival goers walk through the gates, they’ll find balloons, music, entertainment and food at family friendly prices. Mass balloon ascensions take place each day. The gates open Friday at 1 p.m. for the Quick Chek Entertainment Tent, where people can get their photos taken with Leonardo DiCaprio—his wax version, that is, the newspaper reported.

    Among the musical acts will be: original Beach Boy Al Jardine and his Endless Summer Band; Meaghan Martin; Michael McDonald of The Doobie Brothers; and Steely Dan.

    "At 6:30 a.m. Sunday, everybody should come out with their yoga mat and we'll have the world's largest yoga ascension with Kristin McGee," Freeman noted.

    He said 72 percent of people come for the balloons. Old favorites—the Quick Chek Farmhouse, Darth Vader, the PNC Bank American Flag and the world’s tallest Energizer Bunny—will be joined this year by a 100-foot-tall panda, a 110-foot-tall pirate, a 110-foot-tall clown and a 52-foot golf ball for the USGA Golf Hall of Fame.

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