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Rise Early for the Early Rise of Riverton’s Hot Air Balloon Rally

Lending a hand in the early morning may lead to a decades-long adventure, just as Pat Newlin discovered hot-air balloon flying and an enduring seat as Balloonmeister.

“I moved to Riverton in 1990 from Southern California,” Newlin said. “I was amazed that this town of less than 10,000 had a hot air balloon. I knew nothing about them at that time but was intrigued so went to help crew for the balloon.”

She was hooked and is now in her 16th year as Riverton Rendezvous Balloon Rally Balloonmeister.

The opportunity to enter the world of hot air balloon rides and piloting arrives in Riverton each year, and volunteers are welcome bright and early this Friday, July 15, Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17 at 6 a.m. sharp. After the balloons lift off, you can enjoy a tethered balloon ride starting at about 7 a.m.

Yes, I know it is early, but the balloons do best in the cooler, calmer part of the day right after sunrise,” Newlin said. “Even non-morning people have exclaimed that it is totally worth getting up early for!”

Newlin noted that the entire balloon rally is put on by dedicated volunteers, people who make the event possible. Anyone interested in joining the band of volunteers should contact the Riverton City Hall.

“Maybe someone’s interest will lead to them becoming a pilot, too,” said Newlin.

For more avid hot air balloon fans, the celebrity speaker is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Friday, July 15.

“This year our celebrity speaker is Ray Blair from Albuquerque, New Mexico,” said Newlin. “We have had a litany of the top names in ballooning here in Riverton, which have made our balloon rally one of the best in the West!”

The Riverton Rendezvous also encompasses a long list of events beyond the balloon rally. Opportunities to celebrate the community include a car and bike cruise and show, pancake breakfast, barbecue lunch, golf tourney, fireworks, rodeo and more. See the attached flyer or this online brochure for a comprehensive list of events, times and locations.

About Wind River Country/Fremont County

Wyoming’s Wind River Country is the authentic, untamed West. It holds the answers to your adventurous spirit. Come discover new things like the best route to Yellowstone, see an Indian powwow, ride a horse or holler at a rodeo, pan for real gold, and hike in country that will take your breath away. Find the room to breathe, slow your pace a bit, and discover uncontrived adventure that will rejuvenate your soul in Wind River Country.