By Shawn O’Brate, Staff Writer

RIVERTON – The time has finally come when the pink and blue hue in the Riverton sky is filled with more than just the gorgeous, daily sunrises over the mountains. Instead, they’re filled with hot air balloons of all shapes and sizes as the Rendezvous Balloon Rally has returned again.

Thursday and Friday morning in Riverton, citizens came out of their homes to drive to work or water their lawn and were greeted by bursts of color across the clouds.

The Riverton Rendezvous Balloon Rally began back in 1981 as a special tribute to honor the town’s 75th anniversary. The idea of hosting a balloon rally actually came from former publisher of the (then) Riverton Ranger, Bob Peck, and his son. 

This rally has been celebrated by balloon pilots from all over the country, and the world for that matter, and is no different this year. 

Jeanne Anson, the balloon pilot for this year’s WyoToday-sponsored balloon, has been an aeronaut for over 40 years–about the same time length that the rally has been occurring–and has attended the Riverton classic for four years straight now, partially in thanks to the community it resides in.

“Riverton’s great people, we’ve definitely met some great folks here,” Anson said as she sored high above power lines, trees and fields.

In her four years in Riverton she says her favorite part about the whole weekend is simple: 

“The mountains are really cool,” Anson said, “I love seeing them up here.”

When Anson and the rest of the balloon pilots aren’t filling their balloons with flames and lifting the giant wicker basket into the sky, they are likely feeling that urge to get back into the clouds. And once you get a taste of the air at that altitude and the feeling of the breeze being your only guide, it’s easy to see why.

“When I don’t fly I get the ‘I gotta fly’ blues,” Anson said, “the feeling…it’s about being able to be up and above, it’s completely different.”

If you’re reading this early Saturday morning go outside and look into the morning sky, if you’re lucky you might be able to see the large Humpty Dumpty balloon or the “Off the Wall” balloon which appears to be an upside down character with its legs in the air.

There is also tomorrow, Sunday July 17th, where (if weather permits) there will be one final time to see the explosion of color and fun designs fill the morning sky as they take off around 6:30 AM all weekend before moving onto the next balloon rally. 

The Rendezvous Balloon Rally also has other events listed that you can attend:

Today, Saturday July 16th:

7 AM: Tethered balloon rides at CWC Launch Field

8 AM – 3 PM: Arts in Action Day in the Park at Riverton City Park

Come enjoy art work, community organizations, food trucks, hand crafted items and family-fun!

9 AM: Riverton Auto Cross Races (Day 1) at the CWC Art Center parking lot

The beginning of two days of racing occurs for everyone to come and see. Cheer on your local crews and have a fun time 

10 AM – 4 PM: Car and Bike Show at CWC’s South Lawn

One of the most anticipated car and bike shows on anyone’s calendar, come see a collection of some of the nicest, coolest, most classic vehicles 

7 PM: Live Music & Food Trucks at CWC Launch Field

Barcode 307 will grace the soccer field with tunes while the sun sets and food is served

8:30 PM: Balloon Glow at CWC Launch Field

Come see the horde of balloons fully filled and lit up across the launch field, a pretty sight for anyone and everyone

10 PM: Fireworks

Even more things to watch light up the sky!

Tomorrow, Sunday July 17th:

6 – 7 AM: Balloon Launch (Final Day) 

Look up to see the last day of colorful balloons gracing the sunrise-filled sky

7 AM: Tethered Balloon Rides at CWC Launch Field

9 AM: Riverton Auto Cross Races (Final Day) at CWC Art Center parking lot

Check out the championship finish to the two days worth of racing in Riverton!