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Labor Day Weekend gathering loses non-profit organizer
Balloonists prepare top launch during the 2014 Color the Skies event at Ripons Mistlin Sports Park. - photo by HIME ROMERO/Bulletin file photo

 Ripon’s hot air balloon and kite festival known as “Color the Skies” may be over.

The non-profit behind the Labor Day weekend festival at Mistlin Sports Park will be dissolved by the end of March. The group has asked the City of Ripon to sponsor and host the popular annual event. 

 Jessica and Greg Coleman said they are simply worn out trying to keep the festival going year after year.

“Greg and I appreciate all that the members of our team of volunteers have done to make the festival successful for the benefit of Children’s Hospital of Central California,” Jessica Coleman said. “We have done all that we can do to keep up with the growth and the demands.”

Lead balloonist David Wakefield met with the Colemans last week and discussed his continued involvement with the ballooning community in the event that a city sponsored version of the festival moves forward.  He reportedly said he would keep the launch of the balloons intact if the city sponsors the event.

“The 5K/10/K runs can, and most likely will  be taken over by the ShadowChase Running Club.  This decision has been difficult, but I truly feel that it’s best for our family,” she said.

Jessica Coleman, who has been seen as the spark plug of Color the Skies Over Ripon, said that she is seeing the situation as an opportunity to advance this “awesome” family event within the Ripon community.

“It’s our hope that the city will take what we’ve built and proudly propel it into the future,” she said. “And, that someday, we can all attend the festival and sit down together to enjoy a pancake breakfast.

The Colemans are crediting their team of volunteers for their passion and enthusiasm in building the festival from the ground up.