Rendezvous in Riverton

Jul 7, 2017 By Alejandra Silva and Katie Roenigk, Staff Writers

With the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse in mind, the Wyoming Modelers Park Association has labeled its 15th Annual Fly-In a "Pre-Eclipse" event, part of the first big weekend of Riverton Rendezvous activities.

The modelers are hosting a variety of activities this weekend featuring more than 50 registered pilots of small electric or gasoline-fueled planes who are expected to provide spectators with shows Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 2675 N. Federal Blvd.

Most of the flying will be done each day from9 a.m. to 4 p.m.and is free to watch. There's a landing fee of $10 for pilots, however.

Formal events begin at 9 a.m. Saturday with an opening ceremony and guest speakers. Lunch will be available for sale, and trunk swap sales will also be allowed, as well as overnight camping.

Association president Scott Jackson said there will be two "giant" raffles for two airplanes: a classic kit, almost ready to ride, 100-inch wing span aircraft, and a giant electric beaver aircraft.

A silent auction will also be held for both RC and shop equipment.

"Those went over real big last year so we're going to do that again," Jackson said.

Pilots can take advantage of the aerodrome covered pit areas, runways, paved and grassy areas and a helicopter pad on site. There's also an off-road race track and an on-road race track.

This year a taxi contest will take place. Pylons will be set on the highway area, and planes will have to maneuver through.

"It should be intense," Jackson said. "The person with the best time is the winner."

"Extremely skilled" pilots from outside of Fremont County who specialize in other small aircraft flying are also expected to attend, he added. Although no drones are anticipated to be present this year, several helicopters are expected to come in and fly.

The assistant vice-president of the Academy of Model Aeronautics is expected to attend forSaturday'sevents, and members of the Eastern Shoshone Business Council were also invited, Jackson said.

The Shoshone tribe is now owner of the land where the modeler's park sits. Jackson said the association continues its search for 15 acres of land that can house a new modeler's park, as the tribe has plans to develop the 305 acres of former Honor Farm land for other uses. The modelers are looking to lease or buy land, he noted.

The last day for pilots to register isSaturday. For more information, or call Jackson at 463-2676.

Rendezvous in the Park

The fly-in is part of the larger Riverton Rendezvous, which will continue 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday with the Rendezvous in the Park sponsored by Arts in Action at Riverton City Park.

Vendors at the event feature hand-crafted items and food, along with information displayed by non-profit organizations. Event coordinator Liz Connally said this year's fundraiser has attracted more vendors than usual, with 100-120 already signed up.

"I normally have about 100 or a little less," she said Friday.

Booth space is still available for a $75 fee, she added.

"The more the merrier," Connally said. "If they want to show up at 6 a.m. to get a spot, I'll be ready."

All vendor fees go to support Arts in Action, a group that brings artists and musicians to Fremont County. For more information call 851-2844, e-mail, or visit the Riverton Chamber of Commerce, 213 W. Main St.

While the Rendezvous is ongoing, local skateboarders will be putting their skills to the test during a competition that begins at 11 a.m. Saturday at the skate park in City Park.

Central Wyoming Skateboarding Association co-chairman Matt Wright said the contest has drawn more participants this year, too.

"I'm anticipating 50 competitors, and we had 37 last year," he said. "There will be more talent at this one than we may have ever had."

Contestants are coming in from Jackson, Casper, Laramie, Colorado and Idaho as well as Fremont County, Wright said. They will begin the day by taking part in 6-minute elimination rounds called "jam sessions" that involve no more than five riders at a time "battling" in the park while experienced judges watch from assigned zones.

"(Competitors) are judged on creativity, on how clean their landings are, how many tricks they land and how big and how gnarly they are - how hard the trick is," Wright said.

The jam sessions will continue until five finalists are selected in three age divisions: 8-12, 13-17 and 18-plus. The finalists will put together 90-second solo runs that will be judged to determine who wins first, second and third place in each age group.

The competition ends with a 4-minute "final battle" involving all of the with the finalists from the oldest age group.

"It'll be quite a show," Wright said.

He thanked the community for supporting the skate park and associated events, inviting residents to come witness the athleticism of skateboarding Saturday.

"Skating is a spectator sport," Wright said. "A lot of people love to watch it and are just baffled by it and amazed by it. They don't know how it happens."

Winners will receive prizes including cash, gear and custom-painted skateboards. Registration opens at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Future events

Rendezvous events continue throughout the summer with the Chalk the Walk/Sidewalk Art Festival, which will take place 7-9 p.m. Wednesday in conjunction with live music at the Riverton Library, 1330 W. Park. Ave.

A feature of the Riverton Rendezvous is the hot-air balloon rally, which begins with a celebrity speaker at 5 p.m. July 14 at Sundowner Station, 1616 N. Federal Blvd. The actual rally is at 6 a.m. July 15-16, with tethered balloon rides at 7 a.m. each day at the Central Wyoming College launch field, 2660 Peck Ave. Organizers anticipate 21 balloons this year.

Local Kiwanians will host a family pancake breakfast beginning at 6 a.m. on both days of the balloon rally, and on July 15 the 6th Annual Rugrat Carnival will take place 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the south lawn at CWC.

A balloon glow will begin at 8:30 p.m. July 15, when the balloonists will use their burners to make their balloons stand tall and bright as night falls. The spectacle will be followed by fireworks at 10 p.m. from Airport Hill.

The Rocky Mountain Car and Bike Show is another highlight of the Rendezvous. The event begins 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 14 with an auto cross and swap meet at the CWC south lawn. The Friday Night Cruise is later that day, with the parade at 6 p.m. from Kmart, 1960 N. Federal Blvd., to downtown Riverton. It lasts until 9:30 p.m.

The show continues 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 15 back at the CWC south lawn.

Also that day, visitors and residents are invited to enjoy activities and tours 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Heritage Center Museum, 1075 S. Federal Blvd.

The Rendezvous continues with the Rails to Trails 8th Annual Music on the River Walk 6-9 p.m. July 21 and concludes with the 5th Annual Rotary Derby to Era"duck"ate Polio during the Day in the Park/Eclipse Event Aug. 19-20 at City Park.

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