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Chamber details upcoming balloon event

The Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce on Thursday released the details of its upcoming 8th annual Balloon Festival.

The four-day long event will float across Pahrump at the end of April at its new location at Ian Deutch Park.

“This is a community event,” said Jenney Sartin, CEO of the Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce, “This was the last big event before everything shut down, and we’re excited that we’re going to be the first big event for reopening.”

The event is set to take off after gaining approval by the Nye County Commission during its Tuesday meeting. The chamber’s plan was also approved by the Nevada Department of Business &Industry, Division of Industrial Relations, a necessary feat to get the balloons rising. The state requires that large gatherings gain approval due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The change of venue from the festival’s regular spot at Petrack Park to Ian Deutch was due to the state’s requirements due to the health emergency.

Due to these requirements, large gatherings submit a safety plan and that large outdoor events be fenced to keep track of the crowd size.

“We have to be able to be inside a fenced venue, so that we can monitor the number of people coming in, do health checks and remind everyone to mask up and follow CDC social distancing requirements,” Sartin said. “Additionally, in order to efficiently track the number of entrants and comply with the State’s COVID-19 safety requirements, a small gate fee will be charged as part of presale tickets through Eventbrite,” the chamber’s release states. “With exception of the carnival rides, tickets can only be purchased online through Eventbrite. You will be able to select your group time when you purchase your ticket.”

Ticket purchases through Eventbrite will begin on Monday. Carnival tickets can only be purchased at the carnival on the day of attendance.

The chamber also states that large gatherings are still under the jurisdiction of the state and attendees must wear face coverings in public spaces and adhere to social distancing. Attendees must have a mask on to be admitted to the park.

Get ready to soar

The event will kick off on Thursday, April 29 at 4 p.m. After that, the balloon teams start to prepare at 6 a.m. each morning for flights.

“Balloons are scheduled to begin their assent into the sky at approximately 7 a.m. and residents can watch as the balloonists inflate their massive aircraft and drift up into the clouds,” a release from the chamber states.

The vendors and the carnival will begin on Thursday at 4 p.m., but the remaining three days will bring the vendors out at 8 a.m.

During the weekend (Saturday and Sunday), patrons will have a chance to experience the balloons themselves through tethered balloon rides. These rides will open at 8 a.m.

The chamber states, “The weekend festivities include: 20+ hot air balloons, “Glow Show”, tethered Hot Air Balloon rides, a carnival with fun rides for the whole family, vendors and great food, and the Saturday classic car show.”

The Balloon Glow in the park, where balloon teams inflate their aircraft and set them aglow with the burners used to propel them, is set to occur on Friday and Saturday nights.

The event will occur from April 29 to May 2.

The chamber is seeking volunteers to help with the event.

“This will literally take a village,” Sartin states. “So much hard work went into this to be able to meet all the state’s requirements. And we are very grateful for the support we have gotten so far. But we need more than the usual number of volunteers this time, and invite all our friends and neighbors to join our efforts to make this happen,” said Sartin.

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