New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning placed on hiatus for 2024

The New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning will not take place in 2024.

After months of difficult soul searching following this past year’s festival, the event’s organizer — the Festival Group — said Friday that it made the extremely difficult decision to place it on a one-year hiatus in order to reimagine, refresh and relaunch the next version of this great festival in 2025.

“Since we purchased the event back in late fall of 1992, we have been proud to offer a first-class, family-oriented festival at reasonable prices. However, coming out of the 2020 pandemic, we have seen an exponential increase in operational costs. Inflation, supply chain interruptions, vendors who went out of business during the pandemic, competition for scarce resources from festivals worldwide, along with drastically increased fees set by musical talent, make it extremely difficult to present a quality event in its current form without passing rising costs onto our guests,” longtime festival Executive Producer Howard Freeman, whose company has produced the annual three-day festival the past 30 years, said in a release. “In order to properly address these challenges, we have made the difficult decision to take a one-year hiatus to reimagine and relaunch the festival in 2025.”

These factors are being felt across the entire festival industry worldwide.

The New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning is unique in many ways, from being the largest event of its kind, one offering the only opportunity in this part of the country in which you can see and enjoy the majesty of dozens of hot air balloons filling the skies at once, to being net revenue positive every year.

“We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the New Jersey Lottery, who not only signed as our new title sponsor just as COVID was taking hold in 2020, but whose support has been unwavering and continues to this day. With the Lottery as a solid foundation, the balloon festival is currently seeking additional investors and partners who would benefit from the event’s name recognition, associated brand awareness, its global media coverage, highly coveted family demographics and community giving, as part of its 2025 relaunch,” Freeman said.