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Rendezvous back for big weekend of cars, balloons, tunes
Jul 17, 2014 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer
Friday Night Cruise set for 6 p.m.
More than two dozen hot-air balloons are scheduled to fly in Riverton this weekend in conjunction with the 34th annual Riverton Rendezvous celebration.
The free balloon rally is one of just two Rendezvous activities to be conducted for all 34 years, serving as a cornerstone event for the annual mid-summer festival.
The other is the Rendezvous in the Park, which took place last week.
Guest celebrity for this year's balloon rally is Colin Graham, who is well-known throughout the ballooning community for his distinctive balloon "Bud E. Beaver," a novelty balloon built in the shape of a cartoon beaver.
Rendezvous balloon rally director Pat Newlin said Graham's balloon is a crowd-pleaser every time it flies. Graham plans to ascend at Friday morning's unofficial "media flight," then be the centerpiece of the scheduled flights at 6 a.m. Saturday and Sunday mornings from the Central Wyoming College launch field.
Friday Night Cruise
Graham will be the celebrity speaker 7-8 p.m. Friday at the Sundowner Inn courtyard, 1616 N. Federal Blvd. Several balloonists also will take part in the Friday Night Cruise parade that evening in downtown Riverton, firing their propane burners into the night sky in a display known as "candlesticking."
The parade is set for 6 p.m. Friday beginning at Kmart and ending on Main Street. After the procession, participants park their vehicles and hang out during a street party involving sidewalk booths, food stands and other special events.
The band Thief River will be playing live music just off of Main Street, at Bar 10, 114 S. Broadway. Bar owner Jason Hawk said the group has local roots, with member Mike Mitchell hailing from the Pavillion area.
"He grew up and went to school at Wind River -- a local boy," Hawk said. "He had a band he created with some other local artists, (and they) really wailed. They got a huge following around Wyoming and Colorado. So I think there's a lot of people (who) are excited to see him play again."
The show begins around 8 p.m., with a barbecue outside including a Fat Tire bike giveaway.
Jeff Crosby will perform at about 8 p.m. Saturday night at Bar 10. Hawk said people will know Crosby's music from the Sons of Anarchy television show.
"The song you hear when they open up (the show) is his song," Hawk said. "He's an amazing artist."
A $5 ticket will get people admission to both shows.
Several local groups are involved in Saturday's balloon rally at CWC, which also features tethered balloon rides beginning at 7 a.m.
This year the Rocky Mountain Rebels are hosting a swap meet at the Car and Bike Show 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the CWC south lawn. Participants are invited to buy, sell and trade collector parts while viewing more than 200 entries including cars, motorcycles and trucks. Trophies, special awards and door prizes will be given out throughout the day.
Kiwanis will provide a pancake breakfast, and from 10 a.m. to noon a tailgate party will take place at U.S. Energy, 877 N. 8th St. W. Activities will be ongoing at the Wind River Heritage Center, 1075 S. Federal Blvd.
The Paws for Life Animal League is hosting a Red Neck BBQ and Rugrat Carnival 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the south lawn at CWC. Paws board member Rayne Faubion said money from the event will go toward expansion of the Riverton Animal Shelter.
"We have food vendors that come in and we have everything from shaved ice to popcorn," she said. "Then in conjunction with that we wanted to do a kid carnival, so we have water slides and bounce houses and some game and activity centers."
All-day wrist bands for rides are $15 each or $50 for four.
"Each wrist band comes with 20 game tickets," Faubion said.
The first several purchasers will receive a free gift, and Faubion said any child wearing a 2014 Riverton Rendezvous pin also will be eligible for a prize. Paws also will sell raffle tickets for a barbecue grill, propane tank and $100 gift card.
The balloon glow display of the candlesticking technique will reprise at 8 p.m. at the CWC launch field.