Art in the Park, Hot Air Balloon Rodeo a hit in Steamboat |

Art in the Park, Hot Air Balloon Rodeo a hit in Steamboat

Luke Graham

Lisa Jones snaps a photo of a hot air balloon on Saturday morning before it took off near Bald Eagle Lake. Steamboat's Hot Air Balloon Rodeo drew a large crowd that was eager to get snapshots.

— Martha Jett and Jane White were walking around West Lincoln Park on Sunday in complete bliss.

The Oklahomans were enjoying the 39th annual Art in the Park and sounded like public relations flack for Steamboat Springs.

Were they having fun?


Was the weather tremendous?


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Was the slight breeze off the Yampa River making it a delightful afternoon?

"Gosh yes," Jett said. In Oklahoma "it's 101 or 102 (degrees). It was that the day before that, and before that and before that, and I can keep listing them until you're tired."

Of course, Jett and White’s favorite things resided on their hands.

The two had purchased a couple of rings that they couldn't stop showing off.

Jett joked that when she returns to Oklahoma — she was in town visiting White, who spends summers in Steamboat with her husband — her hand will get tired from showing the ring off to friends.

"I like jewelry, but I'm not one to buy at a mall," Jett said. "This is handcrafted. You can tell they put work into it. We love these."

So goes the Art in the Park. The annual festival brings the fun, the weird and lots of art.

In one corner you can get a shirt, the other a picture of Aspen trees.

The long-running fair is a fundraiser for the Steamboat Springs Arts Council to help support its visual arts programs as well as the Young at Art summer arts camps.

Everything from photography and clothing to woodworking and ceramics were available.

"My family always wants to come to this one," said Eva Hornung, while placing price tags on her jewelry and necklaces she makes. "They always want me to come to this one. My kids are playing in the river and my husband is biking."

But it wasn't all work for Hornung. She lives in Monument and Art in the Park has been a tradition.

It's the furthest place she travels for a show. And even as Saturday's rain storm dampened the event for a bit, Sunday was ideal. What started with a glorious day for the Hot Air Balloon Rodeo, ended even better for Art in the Park.

"Yesterday was tough," said Tom Forenz, a balloon pilot from Denver. "But today we made up for it."

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

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