Quick Chek Balloon Festival Named One of N. America's Best Events

Tourism guide recognizes entertainment, economic value of c-store-sponsored attraction

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. -- The American Bus Association (ABA) has announced that the Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Association with PNC Bank has been designated as one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2013 by a tourism industry selection committee.

The festival, the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America, features more than 100 sport and special shaped balloons from around the world taking flight twice daily along with Grammy Award winning performers, with concerts throughout the weekend.

Inclusion in the Top 100 list, published as a supplement to the September/October issue of Destinations magazine, a guide for travel professionals and the public, indicates the Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning offers excellent entertainment value to those planning group tours and vacations, according to the ABA.

This is the sixth time the festival has been named to the ABA's Top 100 list, winning previously in 1987, 1989, 1992, 1997 and 2011. Other notables to be named on the list in past years include the 2010 Winter Olympics, Mardi Gras, the Texas State Fair, the Indianapolis 500 and numerous Super Bowls.

"We're honored to be selected again as one of the Top 100 events in North America," said festival executive producer Howard Freeman. "We work very hard to make the festival a must-attend destination and the best event of its kind year after year. Being on the ABA list, along with the national television coverage we received this past year, is further testament that we truly are a national event."

The annual festival, which attracts upwards of 150,000 attendees, has an economic impact of $42.7 million to the state and local economies with those dollars spent on lodging, meals, admission, fees, shopping, souvenirs, services and local taxes.

The Top 100 Events list is available at www.buses.org/top100.

The 31st annual festival is scheduled to be held July 26-27-28, 2013 at Solberg Airport in Readington, N.J.

Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Quick Chek is a market leader in foodservice with a fresh coffee and fresh food program. Operating more than 125 retail locations in New Jersey and southern New York, Quick Chek's locations include 12 pharmacy stores and 29 locations with fuel.