Hot Air Balloon Festival, Mesquite, Nev., Jan. 25, 2014 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
MESQUITE, Nev. – Balloons took to the skies over Mesquite, gracing and racing over the Virgin Valley Saturday morning. It’s Hot Air Balloon Festival weekend in Mesquite, Nev., ongoing through Sunday.
Racers came from Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, California, Texas, and Canada, some 39 of them depicted on the festival’s colorful roster.
The weather for the balloon fest was mild with a slight breeze. The event kicked off with Gayle McCoy, the festival’s balloon meister, who has been working with the event since 2011, checking licenses and insurance. He then sent off the first helium balloon to check the weather patterns and wind. McCoy has been ballooning since 2006.
The McCoy balloon team set their balloon off with the help of the Mesquite fire department which held the ropes while McCoy’s wife filled the balloon with air from a large fan.
The balloons were followed by a “Squawk! The Show” bird show at the CasaBlanca Resort showroom. The festival continues with a variety show on Saturday and more balloon events Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday, Jan. 25, event schedule
6 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – schedule omitted, time has past
2:30-3:30 p.m. – Special Family Variety Show of Shows at the CasaBlanca Resort Showroom
4-6 p.m. – Champagne Tasting at CasaBlanca Resort Skydome Lounge
6-7 p.m. – Balloon Night Glow at the CasaBlanca south parking lot
8:30 p.m. – Neil Diamond the Tribute starring Rob Garrett and the KOD band at CasaBlanca Resort Showroom. 21 and older only.
Sunday, Jan. 26, event schedule
6 a.m. – Hot Air Balloon set up at Oasis Resort parking lot
6:45 a.m. – Pilots Meeting at Oasis Resort parking lot
7:30 a.m. – Balloon Launch at Oasis parking lot
Event details and contact information
When:Saturday, Jan. 25 through Sunday, Jan.26
Location:CasaBlanca Resort & Casino, 950 West Mesquite Boulevard, Mesquite, Nev.