READINGTON, NJ - The annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning officially launched early Friday morning with a sneak peak for members of the media and amateur photographers.

With a couple hundred cameras clicking, some 20 TO 30 hot air balloons inflated, and some took to the air,  as the morning fog burned off the fields inside Solberg Airport here.

Starting around 6 a.m., dozens of balloon enthusiasts began the work of rolling out and inflating their balloons, getting ready for the opening of the three-day festival at 1 p.m.

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Members of the media, camera club members and, photography hobbyists took the opportunity to get up close to the crews and balloons.

It is the 35th year of the festival, according to the organization, and it is the largest summertime hot air balloon and concert gathering in North America.

In addition to the balloons, which are scheduled to take part in "mass ascensions" during the morning and evenings of the festival, attendees also have the opportunity to go to rock concerts by, George Thorogood and the Destroyers last night and Pat Benatar and Niel Geraldo on tonight.

For more information on the festival, visit its web page.