- Associated Press - Friday, January 24, 2014

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Hot air balloonists in Nevada will be competing for new bragging rights as part of the state’s sesquicentennial celebration.

A special trophy will be awarded this year to the balloon pilot who finishes with the most points from balloon races held throughout the state during its 150th anniversary year.

Six races will make up the Nevada State Balloon Championship series, beginning with the Mesquite Balloon Festival this weekend.

Other festivals in Lovelock, Winnemucca, Pahrump and Spring Creek, along with the Great Reno Balloon Race held in September in Reno, will round out the series.

Besides a trophy, the winning pilot of the series will be honored at the Nevada Day Parade in Carson City on Oct. 31.

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