The annual Indy 500 is coming up in May, the weekend of the Indy 500 always brings thousands of spectators, celebrities, and a whole weekend of fun.  This year however, things will be a little different, as the Indy 500 will not be doing their annual ballon release.

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Indianapolis 500
Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
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No Balloon Release in 2022

According to Fox59 the Indianapolis Motor Speedway won't be doing its annual balloon release this year.  The balloon release has a long history with the Indy 500, and has a been a part of events since 1947.  In recent years the balloon release has been met with some controversy surrounding environmental impacts of releasing that many balloons into the air.  However not to worry, there will still be a massive pre-race celebration like you're used to, and Fox59 says there will be a second flyover at the end of 'Back Home Again in Indiana."  Check out the full statement on the balloon release from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, here.

98th Indianapolis 500
Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images
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Balloon Releases Are Bad for the Environment

Over the years there has been many controversies surrounding balloon releases.  Many people work to raise awareness about the fact that what goes up, must come down.  Many times well-meaning balloon releases just end up polluting waterways, and nature.

HumaneIndiana.org has a whole section on their website dedicated to balloon releases, in their words:

All released balloons fall back to the earth as litter, even if they burst and fall in many fragments. Balloons travel with the wind and have been found hundreds of miles from their original release location. Balloons and balloon fragments often find their way to water including streams, lakes, or oceans, where they are even more widely dispersed. Even balloons marketed as “biodegradable” take months to years to fully break down.

Worldwide cleanups sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy during the past 25 years have found more than 1.2 million balloons, and the balloons, plastic fragments, and string.

HumaneIndiana.org recommends partaking in some more environmentally friendly acts like planting flowers or trees, blowing bubbles, or lighting candles.

Photo by Luca Upper on Unsplash
Photo by Luca Upper on Unsplash
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Real Life Impacts of Balloon Releases

I recently saw a Tik Tok video that broke my heart where a balloon release actually ended up killing a farmer's duck.  Goldshaw Farm is a duck and goose farm in Vermont.  Recently on their TIk Tok they shared a vide that went viral , after sharing they lost one of their beloved ducks from the duck ingesting a balloon.

@goldshawfarm Why you should never release a balloon in the air. #PepsiApplePieChallenge#psa#balloons♬ UNDERWATER WONDERSCAPES (MASTER) - Frederic Bernard
While balloon releases look cool, I'm glad the Indy 500 has taken this step to "indefinitely suspend" their balloon release.  If you want to enjoy the Indy 500 it takes place on May 29th. 

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