While most of us live in a world where the average person has the best of intentions, it can be tough to know what will happen in the immediate aftermath of certain events. Foresight does not always exist and hindsight allows all of us to look like geniuses. This is a lesson that the city of Cleveland was forced to learn in the most difficult manner possible.
The Cleveland balloon fest took place 32 years ago. This event was designed to serve as a charity fundraiser and it also provides the city with a chance to break a major record. Disney had already set a record for the largest simultaneous balloon launch the year before and the city was looking to top it. Thousands of volunteers were needed for the task of inflating all of the balloons.
The photographer who was responsible for documenting the event never could have realized what he was privy to. This seemingly good natured stunt would soon become a massive disaster. Enough balloons had been inflated to fill up the entirety of a city block. This would set the scene for the horrors that would eventually take place.
Can you believe that this event was actually supposed to include the release of over two million balloons? We shudder to think of just how bad things may have gone. The resulting disaster may have been even worse than anyone could have ever expected. The gloomy weather conditions are all that saved the city of Cleveland from something even more horrific.
It should not have taken a genius to figure out how ill fated this idea would be. The storm brought the balloons right back down again and they would soon fill Lake Erie completely. To make matters even worse, two fishermen who were lost out on the lake could not be found because of all the balloons that were blocking the way. The men drowned and one of their widows sued the United Way for their role in the tragedy.
Animals were affected by the failed launch and a racehorse owner also sued the United Way. The balloons also caused untold damages to the environment. In fact, they are still being found to this day in places such as Canada. If there is any silver lining to be found here, it is that this awful occurrence taught people how to raise money more efficiently in the future. Please be sure to share this incredible story with your closest friends and loved ones as soon as possible.