Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Inaugural Mesquite Hot Air Balloon Festival

Southern Nevadans will get the chance to enjoy the majestic world of hot-air balloons January 28-29, during the inaugural Mesquite Hot Air Balloon Festival.

Spearheaded by balloon meister Gayle McCoy of Elko, the event is expected to draw about 20 pilots. A 22-year resident of the city in northeastern Nevada, McCoy literally eats, sleeps, and breaths the world of hot air balloons.

The energetic McCoy is enthusiastic about hot-air balloon festivals. Self-proclaimed as a “utility guy” at Barrick Bald Mountains gold mine in Elko, he is certain that this will become one of the city’s favorite events.

“It’s a passion for me,” says McCoy, adding that a long-running hot-air balloon festival in North Las Vegas ceased about six to seven years ago. “I think people are going to remember this one in Mesquite for years to come.”

Contestants include eight from Nevada, nine from Utah, two from California, and one from Arizona.

All festival events will be held at the CasaBlanca Resort or the CasaBlanca Golf Course. An in-depth schedule of events includes an assortment of gatherings. Balloons will launch each day beginning at about 6:30 a.m. from the golf course.

In the afternoon, tethered rides will be available beginning at 3 p.m. at the CasaBlanca Resort parking lot, weather permitting. Equally as entertaining will be a balloon glow on the grounds of the CasaBlanca Resort on the evening of the 28th. An awards presentation at 10 a.m. on the 29th will wrap up festivities at the CasaBlanca Golf Club.

For further information, or to volunteer, visit rubymountainballoonfestival.com or casablancaresort.com or call 888-711-4653 ext. 51 or 775-397-2494.

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