By KayLynn Roberts-McMurray 

The Ely Times

A group of individuals that included Mayor Melody VanCamp, County Commissioner Shane Bybee, City Councilman, Bruce Setterstrom, both who also represent the Tour and Recreation Board, Airport Manager Lance Gale, Chamber Director Wayne Cameron, President of Simplistic Solutions, Johnathan Dishong and several others met at the chamber this last Monday to discuss the possibility of bringing a Balloon & Salsa Festival to Ely.

The festival would bring in 30 balloons for a three-day weekend of fun. There was discussion of utilizing the golf course as a departing location for the balloons, and the airport as a landing destination.

This type of festival would bring in tourists from all over the United States and that would mean a great source of revenue for Ely.

A spectacular evening of a glow demonstration, tethered balloon rides, a salsa festival and bands performing would be a first time event for Ely. Simplistic Solutions, a local nonprofit group has decided to put this event on.

With this type of event costing over $20,000 to put on, Simplistic Solutions has begun taking steps to obtain grant funding. But will it be enough?

These types of events in other parts of the U.S. are normally put on by a local chamber or county department. There was discussion of sponsorships for balloon rides, fundraising efforts and advertising that Simplistic Solutions would need to do in order to raise enough funds to put this event on.

Katie Griggs, Western Region Director for the Balloon Federation of America was at the meeting to discuss the details. Griggs has been flying balloons for more than 30 years, and has put on events such as the Great Reno Balloon race, Nevada Day Launch and the Pahrump Balloon Festival.

Simplistic Solutions will be given notice by April 20 on whether the request for a grant is accepted or denied.

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