Music, art, crafts highlight first of two big weekends for Riverton RendezvousJul 12, 2015 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer
Music on the River Walk and Day in the Park kicked off the first big weekend of the 35th Annual Riverton Rendezvous on Friday and Saturday. Both events featured sales and performances by area artists, businesses and organizations. Other festivities are set for the coming week Rendezvous continues.
Music on the River Walk
Acoustic sounds traveled along the Rails to Trails path system in Riverton Friday during the Music on the River Walk event. Vendors, crafts, a dunk tank, a tractor display, a mountain man post, and demonstrations by the Fremont Fiber Arts Guild could be seen at various points along the trail.
This year, Music on the River Walk was graced with warmth and a light breeze, a welcome change from 2014, when several of the exhibitors canceled their participation due to rain.
Packin' the Mail's Mary Land from Lander and Dan Seelye from Riverton said they were glad for the sunshine this year after last year's wet weather.
Just down the path from Packin', people gathered to listen to cowboy poetry performed by Jack Schmidt and Kent Stockton. Reading rhymes from poems such as "Chuck Wagon Coffee," the two said they were one of the few who participated in last year's rain. This year, they were equipped with umbrellas in case a drop or two rolled in.
The duo drew laughs from people who listened closely. They talked about poets and the poems they pull from their extensive mental archives.
"That is the great poetry," Schmidt said.
"The best," Stockton responded.
"The only," Schmidt agreed.
Among other events, the Riverton Tree Board handed out free trees, and Gordon Bush of Gordon's Blacksmith Shop forged a piece of metal for the crowd. A young girl played the violin, and workers from The Depot restaurant sold chips and salsa.
Families stuck around the area into the evening.
Rendezvous in the Park
The early birds were out at Riverton's City Park on Saturday as the Rendezvous in the Park got under way. Dozens of vendors displayed their best work and mingled with potential customers. Woodworkers and pottery makers had a popular presence, as did fabric knitters.
Pat's Pottery from Buffalo took over one stall, while Rapp it Up Ceramics of Riverton displayed several pieces on the other side of the park.
One Riverton couple displayed tiny "fairy houses" made from small logs and bits of wood.
Marilyn from Marilyn's Medley of Shoshoni displayed wind chimes made out of kitchen utensils hanging from antique tea pots.
"They hang from steel cables so they don't rot and fall apart," she told a customer. "The quality is great."
Food vendors in the park also provided the public with summer treats.
Not every vendor comes from the Wyoming area -- several travel long distances to attend the event each year.
Harry Piper from Spokane, Wash., set up his "Name Trains" tent in the park, where he sells wooden letters that connect to make trains.
He said Riverton was part of his annual tour of area fairs, which takes him as far north as Montana.
"There's lots of fairs this time of year," Piper said.
Not all booths at Day in the Park are occupied by vendors; many simply provide information for passersby. Informational booths were set up by, among others, the Fremont Community Health Center, Central Wyoming College, Help for Health Hospice, United Baptist Church, Classic Air Medical, Wyoming Veterans, the Foundation for Foreign Study, Friends of Fremont County Fair, and Way of the Cross Church.
More Rendezvous events are scheduled for next week, including the Riverton Branch Library's "chalk the walk" festival, the Friday Night Cruise on Main Street, and the Rendezvous Balloon Rally.