Elvis balloon to dominate New Jersey festival

Elvis Presley will be honoured with his own hot air balloon when the 31st annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning takes place this weekend.

Standing at 105ft tall – the equivalent of 10 stories – the balloon weighs in at 485lbs and was originally made in Brazil last year. At its fully inflated size, it takes up 105,000 cubic feet of space, and comes equipped with 40ft sunglasses, a dazzling white jump-suit and sideburns.

The festival will run from the 26th to the 28th of July over the Huntingdon County countryside, which sees 100 balloons – both novelty and sporting – from around the world taking to the skies. With at least 165,000 attendees expected over the weekend, along with pilots from 20 different states and 1,000 people booking balloon rides, it is the biggest North American hot air balloon festival of the summer.

Howard Freeman, the festival’s executive producer, commented:

“We take great pride in bringing the biggest and newest balloons. Our attendees have come to expect to be wowed by our magic of ballooning and we’re happy to rise up to this challenge year after year.”

However, it isn’t just the balloon itself that pays tribute to the great singer – plenty of King-related activities will be on offer at the event, including a 5k fancy dress race, with the winner being awarded a ride in the Elvis balloon on Sunday evening. Additionally, the after-party features an Elvis impersonator and during the Friday before the first balloon take-off, a sing-off is set to take place.

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