Cleveland Considering Ban On Large Balloon Launches

Balloonfest in 1986

(Cleveland) - Remember Balloonfest? That was an event in 1986 in which more than one million balloons were released from Public Square. It was conceived as a feel=good event, but it turned out to be an environmental and safety issue. The balloons came down on Lake Erie as far away as Canada. They covered runways at Burke Lakefront Airport, and also streets and roads.

Now, balloon launches have become popular, sometimes as celebrations, sometimes in memory of someone who met a tragic death. Because of the environmental and safety issues, Cleveland City Council Monday night introduced legislation that would make it illegal in the city to launch ten or more balloons at once.

The legislation says that large scale balloon launches can disrupt electric service, as Mylar, or metal balloons, can short out power lines. All balloons, once they drop to the ground, can threaten wildlife.

The exceptions to the law include scientific or meteorological purposes.

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