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Run part of Ripon balloon festival
Hot air balloons being filled last year. - photo by Bulletin file photo

Color the Skies will feature the 9th annual Rise.Shine.Give.RUN.

This is part of the hot air balloon festival scheduled for this weekend at Ripon’s Mistlin Sports Park.

The Saturday run will consist of 5K and 10K races beginning at 7:30 a.m.  A one-fourth mile Fun Run for youngsters is scheduled to take place at 9 o’clock.

The pre-registration period ended on Sunday. But the event is still open with race-day registration kicking off at 6 a.m.

Cost is $35 for the 10K, $30 for the 5K and $10 for the Fun Run.

The race will begin and end at Mistlin Sports Park, 1201 W. River Road. The top three runners in each of the 5K / 10K divisions will receive medals. The course is described as “flat, paved streets and country roads” with a water station at the midway point of the 10K.

The Labor Day weekend event will be highlighted by the color of 15 balloons in the carnival-like festivals, with proceeds here benefitting Valley Children’s Hospital (formerly Children Hospital Central California) and youth programs in Ripon.

The Ripon Chamber Foundation took control of Color the Skies back in March. It was founded in 2006 by Greg and Jessica Coleman in an effort to bring awareness and build support for the 386-bed pediatric hospital located on the San Joaquin River just north of Fresno.

The festival begins at dawn – 6 a.m.  on both Saturday and Sunday – with a prayer and the National Anthem. What follows is what the Chamber calls “an absolutely gorgeous setting of hot air balloons inflating and lifting into the skies.”

Color the Skies will also include a breakfast (scrambled eggs, sausage links and a beverage), kite performances, candy drops from the sky, kite making and kite flying.

The community stage will offer a variety of entertainment and several local authors.

Bay Area sky divers will be there on both days and the Patriot Jet Team will fill the skies on Saturday only.

Air George Helicopter, the medical transport team from VCH, will touchdown on the field on Saturday and Sunday.

Tethered rides are available for $10 per ticket. Those interested can jump inside and have a sneak peak of how feels to be inside of an actual hot air balloon.

A toy giveaway (8 o’clock), carnival (9 o’clock), Bay Area Skydivers (9:30), Air George Helicopter (10 o’clock), Patriots Jet Team flyover / kite candy drop (10:30), and the Ravioli Clown Show (11:30) are also on the morning schedule for both days.

Color the Skies, in addition, will feature a Sparkles the Clown Show and local authors on stage doing a reading.

A $20 presale for unlimited carnival ride wristbands can be had at the Ripon Chamber of Commerce (929 W. Main St.) and the Ripon Police Department (250 N. Wilma Ave.) or $30 on the day of the event.

For more information, call the Ripon Chamber Foundation at 209.599.7519 or log on to