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Patriotic essay contest offers students a ride in a hot air balloon

Hot air balloon rides at the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in association with PNC Bank

The QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning and PNC Bank are inviting New Jersey students in grades 2-12 to take part in the 16th annual PNC Bank “American Patriot Essay Contest” by writing a short essay on the topic “What the American Flag Means to Me.”

The grand prize winner will receive the opportunity to take two rides in a hot air balloon. The first is a tethered ride in a gigantic, 75-foot-tall hot air balloon in front of their classmates at their school in June. The second will be a ride in one of the 100 hot air balloons at this year’s 37th annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning July 26-28 at Solberg Airport in Readington.

This year’s winning student’s immediate classmates will each receive one complimentary general admission ticket to the Festival. Second-place and third-place prizes consisting of festival admission and merchandise will be also awarded. The winning student’s teacher and school principal will each receive two Blue Sky Club VIP tickets.

All teachers in the state who submit a group of 15 essays or more on behalf of their students will receive two free general admission tickets to the festival regardless of whether one of their students submits the winning essay.

The essays must be 100 words or less. They will be judged by a panel of representatives from PNC Bank and the balloon festival. Winning essays will be selected based on creativity, poignancy and clarity with consideration given to the grade level of the contestant. Contestants are not required to be U.S. citizens.

Entries should be mailed to Essay Judges, QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, 363 Route 46 West, Suite 200, Fairfield 07004, or emailed to pncessay@balloonfestival.com. Entries should include the student’s name, home or school address, home or school telephone number, grade, age, school name and the name of their teacher.

The deadline to enter is May 1

For more information, visit www.balloonfestival.com/pncessay.

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