Steamboat, the iconic image of Wyoming, piloted by Bruce Pivic of Rock Springs, soared into the sky at this morning's balloon launch in Riverton. (Ernie Over photo)

(Riverton, Wyo.) – It was another perfect morning for the launch of balloons participating in this year’s hot air balloon rally in Riverton. Twenty-Four balloons rose into air before 7 a.m. ┬áThe activity field on the north side of Central Wyoming College is the launch site. One of Riverton’s host balloons, Cloud Kisser III, stayed on the launch field and gave tethered rides to the public, while another, Cloud Kisser II, was this morning’s hare, being the first to take off and set targets for bean bag throws and a cash grab.

The balloon launch is the first of many events in the city today, including the Rocky Mountain Rebels Car and Bike Show at CWC, the PAWS For Life Red Neck BBQ and Rugrat Carnival, also at CWC, and an open house at the Wind River Heritage Center’s Wildlife and Wax Museum on South Federal. A balloon glow is set for this evening at dusk at the launch field, weather permitting and the big Riverton Rendezvous Fireworks Show is set to fire off from Griffey Hill at 10 p.m.

The second day of the balloon rally is Sunday morning at 6 a.m., also at CWC.

Photos by Ernie Over. Click to enlarge