Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Old Video Shows Stupid Idea: Big Cleveland Balloonfest Of 1986

Zillions of balloons rain down on
Cleveland during a 1986 ill-fated
attempt at a Guiness Book of World
Record attempt
The Atlantic recently featured a short film about a long forgotten, failed attempt at a Guinness Book of World Record balloon launch.

The city of Cleveland launched 1.5 million helium filled balloons. It looked spectacular, but the end result was kind of like that famous Thanksgiving turkey scene from the 1970s show "WKRP In Cincinnati." (In that episode, the radio station inadvertently bombarded Cincinnati with turkeys, with hilariously messy results.

Cleveland should have known that kind of fiction would come to life with their balloon launch. And unlike the sitcom, the result was not hilarious at all.

Hundreds of thousands of balloons littered the city and nearby Lake Erie.  The balloons weren't biodegradable, so they made a mess and an environmental hazard.

Worse, all the balloons interfered with a search and rescue mission on Lake Erie for two missing fishermen. There's no way they could be found amid all those balloons floating in the water.

Here's the short film on the doomed Cleveland balloon fest:

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