READINGTON – PNC Bank and the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning are once again inviting New Jersey students in grades 2 through 12 to take part in the 10th 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 a visit to his or her school by a gigantic, 75-foot-tall hot air balloon in June and a special VIP package at this year’s Festival in July: a hot air balloon ride for two, four Blue Sky Club VIP tickets, and the opportunity to meet one of this year’s concert headliners, which in the past have included the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato.
Second and third place prizes consisting of Festival admission and merchandise will be also awarded.
The winning student’s immediate classmates will each receive one complimentary general admission ticket to the Festival, July 26-27-28, 2013 at Solberg Airport in Readington, and 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.
Named one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2013, the 31st annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Association with PNC Bank is the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America.
“With the entries that pour in from all over New Jersey each year in the American Patriot Essay Contest, it is heartwarming to see a new generation of young people keeping the spirit of liberty alive,” said Joseph Whall, PNC Senior Vice President & Director of Client and Community Relations.
“This contest has proven to be a great way to engage children to write about the American Flag, which means something special to each of us regardless of our age,” said Festival Executive Producer Howard Freeman. “From essays about relatives who have served in the military to families who have immigrated to our country for a better way of life, the children express their feelings beautifully each and every year.”
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 submitted by May 3, 2013 to Essay Judges, Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, 363 Route 46 West, Suite 200, Fairfield, NJ, 07004. Students can also enter the contest through the Festival website at www.balloonfestival.com or by emailing their essays to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.