WHITEHOUSE STATION, 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 20-30 hot air balloons inflated, and some even took to the air, early Friday morning as the morning fog burned off the fields inside Solberg Airport.

Starting around 6 a.m., dozens of balloon enthusiasts started 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, for exceptional shots the busy festival would not be able to offer later.

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 Friday night and Pat Benatar and Neil Geraldo on Saturday night.

For more information on the festival, visit this link.