The Balloon Fest of 1986: The Day Cleveland Wished Never Happened

Who doesn’t love balloons, right? And who doesn’t love a whole bunch of them? Well, for one, Cleveland probably wishes they never have to see balloons again. And it might even be the subject of some’s nightmares. Why? Because on September 27, 1986, 1.4 million balloons were released into the atmosphere and what happened next were a chain of events that no one involved would have predicted. What was intended to be a fun and positive fundraiser turned out to be a true disaster that ended costing the city millions of dollars in damages and lawsuits.

See what happened on the day Cleveland wished never happened.

What Was Supposed to be a Charity Event…

This major balloon fest was designed to serve as a charity fundraiser for non-profit organizations, organized by the United Way. It was also an opportunity to break a record on the Guinness Book of World Records.

Source: Unusual Interesting

Disney had just set a record for the largest simultaneous balloon launch a year before, so the city was looking to one-up them. The event, called Balloonfest ‘86, highly anticipated and thousands of volunteers congregated for the task of inflating all of the balloons. To remind you: that’s 1.4 million balloons. Think about that for a second…

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