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Balloons are back: Pahrump festival will see a 9th year

The Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce’s decision to cancel the 9th Annual Pahrump Balloon Festival earlier this year was a source of much dismay and disappointment for area residents but thanks to the efforts of the Dubin family and Balloons Over Pahrump, the event is now set to make a comeback this fall.

Doug Dubin went before the Nye County Commission this month to request a festival permit for the Pahrump Balloon Festival, which will take place at Petrack Park over Veterans Day weekend and incorporate a plethora of activities and amusements.

“With my colleague, Doug Campbell, we are excited to be able to perpetuate and bring the Pahrump Balloon Festival back to Pahrump,” Dubin told commissioners, while Campbell, owner of Balloons Over Pahrump, added, “We’re excited about keeping the event going on here. There has always been a strong interest from the residents and we’re getting a good response back from them. And a lot of the (balloon) pilots enjoy flying here, so they are excited about coming back here as well.”

When originally addressing the festival permit, commissioners had some concerns about certain aspects of the plan, including parking and the location of the carnival, and decided to table the item until a future meeting. Dubin was able to work with town officials to resolve those concerns and he was back before the board on May 17, at which he received unanimous approval for his festival permit.

The 9th Annual Pahrump Balloon Festival is set for Friday, Nov. 11 through Sunday, Nov. 13.

Hot air balloons will, of course, be the main feature of the Balloon Festival and the permit application outlined between 15 and 20 of the aircraft are anticipated to join in the aerial launches throughout the weekend. Dubin added that there will even be brand new balloons that have never before flown in Pahrump, but early morning balloon launches are far from all that attendees can expect this coming November.

The ever-popular carnival will be included in the Balloon Festival and three bounce houses have been secured for the youngsters. There will be approximately 20 food vendors on site, along with 90-plus merchandise vendors, where attendees can browse for all sorts of gifts and souvenirs. A car show will take place on the north soccer fields following the balloon launches and there will be corn hole and horseshoe tournaments as well as music for entertainment.

To help attract more attendees on the final day of the event, Dubin detailed that there will be a “turkey drop” performed, but definitely not with live turkeys. Balloon pilots will scatter certificates for free turkeys over the park on Sunday morning, giving attendees the chance to score their Thanksgiving bird for free.

“The event is slated to be something for all ages,” Dubin enthused.

As the event will take place over the Veterans Day weekend, Dubin said he was also arranging something special in honor of those who have served. There will be a sunrise Veterans Day ceremony held the morning of Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11, that will feature many of the traditional aspects of a military ceremony but with a bit more flair than usual. Dubin explained that a hot air balloon will rise over the field during the ceremony, from which a parachuter will jump and unfurl the red, white and blue glory of the American flag. The local VFW Riders group will be taking part as well, providing the color guard that will present the colors.

Dubin noted that he is hopeful that other veterans’ organization in town will join in too, and encouraged those willing to take part to contact him directly.

In addition, vendors, sponsors and volunteers are all needed.

Dubin invited community members to the event organizational meetings that take place each Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Pahrump Museum, 401 E. Basin Road.

For more information or to sign up as a vendor, sponsor or volunteer contact Dubin at 775-537-5515 or Campbell at 702-499-4884.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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