Air Community Trust logo in green
George May 24, 2012

Instead of having individual stalls at the Kirkhill Gala this year, the Kirkhill Beavers and Cubs and Aird Scouts are uniting to organise a spectacular balloon race.

Balloon ‘numbers’ can be purchased for £1 each and then, on the day of the Gala, numbered tickets (complete with the organisers’ contact details) are attached to individual balloons which are filled with helium. These are then released from a giant net and float up, up and away.

Eventually, the tickets will fall to the ground and some are hopefully found. There is a £2 reward for reporting a found ticket, a £100 prize for the owner of the ticket which was found furthest away and a £50 prize for the ticket which was reported found first.

The Beavers, Cubs and Scouts have each been given a sponsor sheet for the balloon race containing 20 balloon numbers to sell to their friends and family. More balloons will be available to purchase on Gala Day prior to the spectacular balloon launch.

Environmental issues

    • Latex balloons are used in the balloon race. These are hand tied and have no attached string or ribbons. Latex balloons are 100% biodegradable.
    • Rarely do the released balloons return to earth intact. Studies show that these balloons usually rise to an altitude of about 5 miles. At this point, the low temperature and pressure causes ‘brittle fracture’ which creates spaghetti-like pieces that scatter across a wide distance.
    • While some balloons do not reach this altitude, research indicate that in an average 500-balloon release, the unexploded balloon return density is no greater than 1 per 15 square miles.
    • Research shows that, regardless of the latex balloon’s ultimate form when it lands, it will decompose , forming a natural soil nutrient at the same rate as an oak leaf.
    • The paper used for the tickets is biodegradable.

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