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Rock Ribs and Ridges Rock Ribs and Ridges

Howard Freeman, D.H.A. (Doctor of Hot Air)

A promoter who has set the bar high for balloon festivals across the country along with the annual, Rock, Ribs and Ridges Festival.

Who is Howard Freeman?

Howard, a New Jersey native, has been in the promoting business for over 35 years, and is one of the few people in the world to hold the title of being a Doctor of Hot Air. Howard is most known for being the leader of the biggest hot air balloon festivals held across the country. He started his company, Promo 1 in 1981, and has been a leading promoter since.

Rock Ribs and Ridges

Howard was approached ten years ago to help come up with a balloon festival in the Sussex County area, but with all the high mountains, it was not possible, so Howard and his team came up with a Rock n’ Roll Festival with Ribs- What a great concept! The festival was held at the Sussex County Fairgrounds, and has been a staple event every year. The first festival had Charlie Daniels and the Marshall Tucker Band, with Doug Gray asking Howard, “What are you going to call it?” Howard said, “Rock and Ribs” with Doug’s response, ” How about Rock, Ribs, and Ridges?” Howard agreed, and said that name was cool and fits with the mountains being in the area.

Rock, Ribs, and Ridges 10th Anniversary June 29th and 30th

This year’s event is extra-special, it brings back the Marshall Tucker Band, 38 Special, The Weight and the Artimus Pyle Band. Newcomers to the festival are Southside Johnny, who headlines the second night on Sunday. Local acts, The Outcrops and Mark Coffy will be on hand as well. There are some new Pit Masters cooking their ribs and are expected to be feeding over 17,000 attendees. All the VIP stickers are sold out for both shows.

Check out the video interview below with Howard


Stay tuned for a follow up interview on MusicXplorer. We will interview Howard and find out how the balloon festivals all started!

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