READINGTON, the United States, July 27 (Xinhua) -- One of the largest summertime hot air balloon festivals in North America kicked off on Friday at Readington in the northeastern U.S. state of New Jersey.
The festival, in its 36th edition this year, features mass inflation and ascension of up to 3000 hot air balloons every day during the weekend.
Balloon pilots from 21 states across the United States and five countries will take part in the festival, which is expected to attract over 165,000 people.
Visitors will also be able to see 10 special shaped balloons, including a 115-foot-tall puppy, a 120-foot-tall cartoon saxophone named Jazzy Q and a yellow bird that is 77,000 cubic feet when fully inflated.
Apart from the balloons, the festival also offers a series of live concerts, a fireworks display, a nighttime balloon glow where the balloons are inflated and lit up like giant lanterns, children's amusement rides and interactive exhibits and hundreds of crafters and food vendors.
The annual three-day event will end on July 29.