Shawn O’Brate

RIVERTON – Over the weekend the Riverton City Park was bombarded with people from all over the county and the state in order to see what makes the Rendezvous City so happy during the month of July.

The beginning of that month was spent with live music Friday night, followed by the liftoff of floating lanterns and a glimpse into the future with hot air balloon baskets and tethered rides across the city. 

On Friday night the band “El Loco Fandango” played at Riverton City Park to a huge crowd, blasting their ZZ Top cover music to the masses while food and beer vendors helped the crowd get in the mood before lighting lanterns for the sky to swallow up.

The ZZ Top cover band also played a show on Saturday evening at Bar Ten where former Laramie High Schooler Don Dimasi, “The Reverend Donny D”, continued to feel the love of Riverton as he shredded on the guitar while wearing some cheap sunglasses.

“It’s been wonderful,” Dimasi said before the band took the stage again, “the people up here are so friendly, everybody’s been so cool, we had some good Mexican food down the block and have had some nice, ice cold beer.”

Dimasi lives in Arvada, down by Denver, where the rest of the band–Mike Learn and Tim “the beardless wonder” Elliot–also lives but he said that Wyoming will always have a special place in his heart due to his ties to Laramie and his one semester at the University of Wyoming. 

After playing the large concert in the park and seeing the reaction to their music, the band exited Wyoming on a high note and hope to come back sooner rather than later.

“We’re a ZZ Top tribute band so we play all ZZ Top, all the time, and we’ve been getting a great response to it,” Dimasi said, “because it’s feel good music to begin with, and then there’s the people who grew up around it or heard it on classic rock radio, and it just brings back good memories…The biggest compliment that we can ever get is that people have fun and that’s what we’ve been hearing, so we’re totally overwhelmed with the response it’s been really good. We can’t wait to play for these people again.”

Outside of the band that took over the weekend there was one of the biggest parties in City Park that took place during Saturday. 

Vendors from all over the city, county, and even some vendors from other states all flocked to City Park to sell their goods and their products whether they be metal work, handmade soaps, candles that smell like cupcakes, or bonsai trees made out of copper.

The park was filled with children who were celebrating the spirit of Happy Days in bouncy castles, bouncy obstacle courses, and more in the middle of the park while music was blaring from under the band shelter. 

There were also cornhole tournaments and skateboarding competitions that crowned their respective victors after hours of competing, making the event even more diverse and fun for those that may not have attended a Happy Days celebration before.

It was all in preparation for one of, if not the, biggest weekend in Riverton this upcoming weekend when hot air balloons will fill the blue sky with color and fun designs. 

The balloons will launch at 6 AM Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the CWC Launch Field with celebrations happening throughout the weekend like the “Day in the Park” on Saturday where food trucks and art vendors will once again fill City Park for citizens to explore and have fun.

There will also be autocross races and car and bike shows, along with plenty more fun for all ages, spanning across the three-day event.