From our man in Cullman County, Alabama – Students aged 10-14 gathered at the Peinhardt Living History Farm in Cullman this week to take part in the annual balloon release, signalling the month-long observance leading up to “Farm-City Week” in November.
The event, given extensive media attention by the Cullman Times (incorporating the Pickensville Record-Journal), left a number of the students breathless with excitement.
Student Tucker Van Dyke, aged 11, anxiously awaited his helium-filled balloon with the expectation that his would fly higher and farther than all the rest.
“Yellow balloons fly the farthest, all the way to the sun,” Tucker informed the assembled media. A volunteer then handed Tucker his orange balloon.
He paused and then aggressively added “Orange balloons fly even higher than yellow ones.”
In all, 120 balloons were released Friday. A brisk southeasterly breeze carried them skyward for parts unknown.
Attached to each balloon is a note, asking the person who finds it to mail it back with information about the finder and the location. The purpose of this is to bring students into contact with cultures and settings different from their own.
“Its really something to hear from all these exotic, far away places” said Sheila Brock, Chairman of the Cullman County Farm-City Committee.
“In past years we’ve has balloons from returned from as far away as Tennessee and if I’m not mistaken, once even Mississippi!”
Farm-City Week began 51 years ago to strengthen bonds between farms and cities. As in past years, the official observance will begin with the annual ‘Proclomation Breakfast’ at 7 a.m. on 24 October at the local All Steak Restaurant.
Other events scheduled include a sweet-potato ‘cook-off’ and a promised address by “special guest” Bruce Goddard (?).