Colorful hot air balloons to take to the skies of Pahrump

The 6th Annual Pahrump Balloon Festival is set to float into town next week for three days of high-flying fun at Petrack Park.

Hosted by the Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce, the festival has quickly become a local tradition and the event regularly draws massive crowds who enjoy a wide variety of sights and sounds.

The Pahrump Balloon Festival is set to take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 22, 23 and 24. The fun is scheduled to start at 6 a.m. each morning, when the park will open and the balloon teams will troop in to prepare for flights. Balloons are scheduled to begin their assent into the sky at 7 a.m. each morning and residents can watch as the balloonists inflate their massive aircraft and drift up into the clouds.

Each day the Pahrump Valley Junior High and High School Rodeo members will hit the arena to entertain the crowds. On Friday, Feb. 22 the rodeo will open at 8 a.m.

The vendors and the carnival will start at 4 p.m. that Friday while for the rest of the weekend these will open at 8 a.m.

Saturday, Feb. 23 will also include a car show, beginning at 8 a.m. and the rodeo will take place at 9 a.m. The rodeo club will be back at it again on Sunday, Feb. 24 beginning at 8 a.m.

That Saturday and Sunday, Balloon Festival patrons will have the chance to experience the balloons themselves during the tethered balloon rides, which open at 8 a.m. For the first time, the chamber has incorporated an additional element of flight as well, with kites set to fly at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

One of the most anticipated portions of the event each year is the Balloon Glow in the park, where balloon teams inflate their aircraft and set them aglow with the burners used to propel them into the air, creating a spectacle as the enormous balloons are illuminated in the darkness of the park. The Balloon Glow is scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday nights.

Pre-sale tickets for the carnival, the rodeo and field access to the Balloon Glow are available on the chamber’s website

Advance pricing for a one-day, all-day carnival pass is $20, while passes at the event will be $25 each.

The tickets for the rodeo and Balloon Glow can be purchased either together or separately and either for one day or as weekend-long passes.

The rodeo on Friday, Feb. 22 will be free of charge, as there will only be a cutting competition, Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Melissa Gebhart explained. However, those wishing to see the action on the following Saturday or Sunday must buy passes.

Combination tickets for access to the rodeo on both Saturday and Sunday, as well as field access to the Balloon Glow on Friday and Saturday night are $20, in advance and at the event. If attendees wish to buy tickets to the rodeo only, they will be sold at the event for $10 for one day. Glow tickets will also be sold at the park at a rate of $10 per night when purchased alone.

Gebhart noted that residents do not necessarily need tickets in order to watch the Balloon Glow, which can be seen from the perimeter of the field where the balloons will be set up. However, if attendees want to get up-close and personal with the balloons and have a chance to talk to the balloon teams during the glow, they will need tickets to access the field.

Tethered balloon rides will be $10 per person.

“Colorful hot air balloons, rodeo with bucking broncos, car show, vendors and carnival, it doesn’t get any better than that!” Gebhart enthused when announcing the event.

Those planning to attend should keep in mind that many of the event’s features are entirely at the mercy of the weather. If there is rain or wind, the balloon flights, carnival rides and glow shows could possibly be canceled. There are no refunds for canceled events.

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