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City flocks to Day in the Park
Three-year-old Breven Jenkins, above, kept his cool at Rendezvous Day in the Park by wading in a pool filled with ducks provided by the Riverton Rotary Club. Photos by Wayne Nicholls

Day in the Park offers something for everyone

Jul 15, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

Muriel Kraus and her friend Janis Haggerty spent their Saturday morning wondering Riverton City Park and admiring craft work set up for the annual Riverton Arts in Action Rendezvous Day in the Park.

After a stop at vendors selling kettle corn and smoothies, the Riverton women found an unoccupied picnic table in the center of the park and enjoyed their treats over conversation.

The two say the event, which is part of the 32nd Riverton Rendezvous, has pulled them back to the park for many years.

"It's fun seeing people, visiting and seeing friends," Kraus said in between bites of kettle corn.

Across the table, Haggerty echoed her friend's statement, adding that she enjoys seeing what new vendors have to offer.

'It's nice to see what's new and different," she said.

Kraus agreed.

"We have a very talented area," she said.

The spread at the park had something for everyone. Alexis Mann cut up lemons on one side of the lawn for fresh squeezed lemonade. A few tents down, a local family prepared ingredients essential for Indian tacos. The smell of hot dogs and hamburgers also filled the air.

Along the many rows of merchandise tables, attendees admired jewelry, pottery and other various crafts ranging from works of leather, copper, glass, wood and cloth.

There were tables set up by candidates vying for elected office this year.

Riverton Mayor Ron Warpness manned a tent that had information about the proposed 1 percent optional sales tax. There were also booths with information about specific causes such as the Tough Enough Cancer Fund.

"They have a variety of things," John Itzen said about the gathering.

The Rawlins man has made the trip to Riverton in past years to attend Day in the Park.

"I am just here enjoying the day," he said.

Many vendors return to the park every year.

"This is always a good turnout for me, probably the best I do all year," Angie Jervis said. "And it's a lot of fun."

Jervis has a business, Rose Garden Pottery, in Lander. Her pieces are white stoneware with an electric-fired glaze.

In addition to returning crafters, a few new faces appeared Saturday.

Those stopping at Brooke McWilliams's table tasted her mother's pepper jelly.

"It's just a little bit warm, but it's good," McWilliams told customers.

McWilliams was selling the jelly for her mother, Deb Childers, who was in Lander at the town's first farmers market of the season.

She said this is the first year her mother's jelly has been sold at Day in the Park, and that it was due to the response she received at the new Riverton farmers market on Wednesday evenings that inspired Childers to try out the event.

McWilliams said her mother has been canned the spicy jelly for years, but this is the first year she took the talent to a business level.

"She does everything from home, and everything is fresh," McWilliams said. "It's bell peppers with a hot pepper in it."

Jillian Lewis of Riverton was selling jewelry she crafted from recycled No. 6 plastic. The local artist said she started making items out of plastic earlier this year when she created dog treats for a fundraiser. From there, she began designing jewelry.

"I cut the plastic and then melt it," she said.

Two hours into the event, Lewis said she was happy she decided to try Day in the Park.

'It's been great," she said, before excusing herself to assist a customer.

More Rendezvous

Riverton Rendezvous events and activities continue through July 22.

On Wednesday, July 18, the Riverton Branch Library hosts the Singing the Good Old Songs event, featuring Jackie Davidson and Gary Brand.

Several activities are planned for Friday, July 20. At 6 a.m. is the media-day launch for the Rendezvous hot-air balloon rally at Central Wyoming College. Spectators and volunteer crew are welcome.

At 6 p.m., the Friday Night Cruise returns to Main Street in downtown Riverton. From 7- 8 p.m., the celebrity balloonist speaks at Realty Brokers. This year's celebrity is Rich Lawhorn of Louisville, Ky. He flies the popular Humpty Dumpty balloon.

On 6 a.m. Saturday, July 21, a pancake breakfast at CWC will kick things off at first main balloon rally launch. Twenty-six balloons are expected to lift off. Tethered balloon rides follow 7 a.m.

Other events that day include the car and bike show at CWC's south lawn, the redneck barbecue festival at the Heritage Center Museum, the balloon glow at CWC, and fireworks from Griffey Hill west of Riverton.

The Wrangler Classic is July 20-22 at the Wind River Casino arenas.

On Jul 22, balloon fun continues at CWC, with a launch at 6 a.m. and tethered rides at 7 a.m.

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