First Annual Mesquite Hot Air Balloon Festival Detailed

Southern Nevadans will get the chance to enjoy the majestic world of hot air balloons Jan. 28-29 when the inaugural Mesquite Hot Air Balloon Festival is presented.

Spearheaded by balloon meister Gayle McCoy of Elko, the event is expected to draw about 24 participants. A 22-year resident of the city in northeastern Nevada, McCoy literally eats, sleeps and breaths the world of hot air balloons.

“It’s a passion for me,” said McCoy adding that a long-running hot air balloon festival in North Las Vegas ceased about 6-7 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 (Park City, Murray, Alpine, West Jordan, St. George, Salt Lake City and Salina); six from California (Simi Valley); and one from Arizona.

The festival in Mesquite is sponsored by Mesquite Gaming along with AmeriGas of St. George, Utah. All events related to the festival 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 CasaBlanca 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 Jan. 28. An awards presentation Jan. 29 will wrap up festivities at 10 a.m. at the CasaBlanca Golf Club.

Further information can be found by visiting or or by calling CasaBlanca Sporting Event Manager Christian Adderson at 888-711-4653, ext. 51; or Balloon Meister Gayle McCoy, 775-397-2494.