Nevada’s most creative winter festival returns Jan. 15
ELY, Nev. – Nevada’s most rugged outdoor mountain town is getting ready to embrace the extremes and a new year. Ely’s annual Fire and Ice Festival is set, with the opening ceremonies kicking off Friday, Jan. 15. Part arts festival, part winter sport competition, the community-wide event has been a winter tradition since 2003. This year’s event will look a little different than years past, but will still feature plenty of fun for people of all ages.
This year’s festivities include two upgraded fireworks displays. On Saturday, Jan. 16, it’s the famous Fireworks train ride on the Nevada Northern Railway (NNRY). The train departs at 4:30 p.m., giving passengers a front row seat as fireworks are shot off a moving steam train. The ride then returns to the station for the Art Sculpture bonfire at 7 p.m. The weekend festival concludes on Sunday, Jan. 17 with another fireworks display set off downtown.
The famous ice sculpture competition is dependent on weather, but the annual Bristlecone Birkebeiner is definitely a go. Nevada’s longest running cross-country ski event starts bright and early on Saturday, Jan. 16 at the North Trailhead of Ward Mountain Recreation Area. There are multiple types of events for all skill levels, including a short course (1.5 miles), long course (4.1 miles), and kid’s race (< 1 mile). If snow conditions are insufficient for a ski race, there will be a foot trail race instead (the fat tire/mountain bike race will happen whether the ground is covered with snow or not).
More events to come as they are confirmed. Anyone interested in hosting an event or tournament can contact the White Pine County Tourism and Recreation Board at 775-289-3720 or VisitElyNV@gmail.com
About Ely: Located about 240 miles from Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, Ely is one of Nevada’s best kept secrets and perfect for people who want to create their own adventures off the beaten path. Sitting on the Eastern edge of “The Loneliest Highway” (U.S. Highway 50), Ely is a great base camp for some of the best outdoor recreation in Nevada, all year round; from mountain biking and climbing to hiking and hot springs. It’s also just a short drive to Great Basin National Park, home of the magnificent Lehman Caves and ancient Bristlecone pine forests.
Ely was founded as a stagecoach station along the Pony Express, and its rich history is celebrated in a series of murals that decorate downtown. Visitors can also step back in time at the Nevada Northern Railway museum, a National Historic Landmark which offers visitors the opportunity to experience an actual working railroad and provides excursions on steam and diesel locomotives. For more information visit: ElyNevada.net.