Colorful balloons fill the skies over New Jersey as the 39th annual New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning kicks off. It’s the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America.
Green Brook’s June Lanza has been coming to the New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning for more than three decades and this year she wanted her nearly 5-year-old granddaughter Jessie to experience it.
At dawn on Friday, Lanza, her daughter Tracie Lantz, from Florida, and Jessie watched as some 35 hot air balloons prepared to fill the sky at Solberg Airport for the kick-off of this weekend’s 39th annual event.
“The colors, the different shapes, it never ceases to amaze me. It’s always a thrill. It never got old,” Lanza said. “When I first started coming 36 years ago I fell in love with ballooning and said I want to help here as a crew member.”
Lanza said she serves as a balloon crew member each year and attends all of the festival’s morning and evening inflation.
“I block the weekend. You know mom doesn’t do anything other than that. I got all my kids involved, two of my kids help out pretty regularly,” Lanza said, adding that her daughter, who lives in Colorado, will come to help her with Unicorn -Balloon. “All my kids basically got into it from birth.”