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Balloon travels 600 miles to Urbanna

by Larry S. Chowning

Corydon, Indiana, is about 600 miles away as the crow flies, and that’s the distance an orange balloon traveled in less than 24 hours and landed in the cemetery on Red Hill, just outside of Urbanna.

Logan Hamilton of Urbanna doesn’t miss a trick. The 4-year-old was riding bikes with his dad Tommy and brother Thomas around the cemetery road on May18 when he spotted an orange balloon on the ground off in the distance.

“Logan got us to stop and he kept pointing and saying ‘orange balloon,’ ” said his dad. “Thomas and I didn’t see it at first.”

Sure enough, it was an orange balloon that had traveled from Ohio River country in the breadbasket of America to the Chesapeake Bay in less than a day.

The balloon has “Historic Corydon This is Indiana Harrison County” embossed on it. There is also a Civil War cannon and old statehouse on the balloon. Corydon was the first capital of Indiana and is the county seat of Harrison County. Its population is about 2,700.

On Saturday, members of the Corydon Chamber of Commerce were placing balloons on the town visitor’s center as part of Hospitality Week festivities there. A couple of the balloons got away and at least one caught that midwest frontal system that crossed the country and blew cool weather toward eastern Virginia.

The balloon got away Saturday morning, said Jim Epperson, director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Corydon. “It’s hard to believe that the balloon traveled that far, that fast.

“We have a Hospitality Week every year and we have balloons, popcorn and other activities as part of the festivities,” he said. “We certainly didn’t expect our event to be advertised that far away from home.”

Logan’s balloon still has a white ribbon tied to its stem, which is just the right size for the 4-year-old to hold onto.

posted 05.29.2008

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