ELY, Nev. — Ely is known as the land of extremes and nothing exemplifies that more than one of the region’s most popular winter events: The Fire & Ice Festival. This year’s event runs from Friday, Jan. 12 through Sunday, Jan. 14. What started back in 2003 as an ice sculpting festival has evolved over the years to embody everything Ely has to offer in wintertime. There’s outdoor adventure and competition, community arts, great food and drinks, live music, and not one, but two massive fireworks displays.
The festivities kick off with live music downtown on Friday night. Then the Bristlecone Birkebeiner starts a full day of events on Saturday. Contestants can enter to race in the cross-country ski, snowshoe, or fat tire bike events (weather permitting). To register for the Birkebeiner, visit https://elyoutdoorenthusiasts.org/bristlecone-birkebeiner.html.
Saturday also features darts, disc golf, and bowling tournaments and is capped off by the Nevada Northern Railway’s (NNRY) famous Fireworks Train — the only fireworks show that launches explosives from a moving steam train. The evening finishes with the Art Sculpture Bonfire at the NNRY.
Start Sunday off with a morning hike then head to Broadbent Park for horseshoe, cornhole and axe throwing tournaments. Enjoy live music and great food along the way before the weekend wraps up with another fireworks display at the park.
Pre-registration is required for the tournaments. Teams interested in competing in events should contact the convention center at: (775) 289-3720.
Visit Elynevada.net for more information on the festival.
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: http://elynevada.net/