Truman State University’s Student Activities Board will once again be sending students up into the sky with its High Fly Adventure event April 7. With COVID-19 restrictions in mind, SAB has made it possible for students to enjoy one of the most popular events of the year.
SAB President Jessica Rood said she remembers planning the event in 2019 and looking towards the sky in awe as the beautiful, multicolored balloon floated hundreds of feet above the ground. She said she thinks there is no better way to spend an evening than looking at the twinkling lights of Kirksville in the sky.
While this event has occurred in prior years, some changes needed to be made to make the event as safe as possible. Initially, the basket of the hot air balloon would have accommodated nine to 10 people. However, this year because of COVID restrictions, it has been cut to four passengers only.
Rood anticipated that cutting the numbers of attendees could be disappointing for some, so she and the rest of the committee decided to span the event across two days to allow for more opportunities to participate.
“Let’s just make it two days,” Rood said. “Let’s let everyone sign up and get the chance to do something like that.”
SAB not only expanded the event so every student interested can participate but has also managed to follow all University guidelines regarding social distancing and have implemented a mandatory mask mandate, which was not an easy feat.
The vendors used for this event have also made accommodations to stay safe by requiring all employees to wear a mask and keep their space from students. They are working closely with SAB to ensure complete health and safety for everyone involved.
“It has been a challenge planning events [this year], but we’re really excited to do it, and I think we’re going to do it really well,” Rood said.
She also mentioned how proud she is of all SAB members for persevering through a tough year and said she is excited to see what they will be able to put on next year, especially now that they are taking applications for new members next fall.
“There is no other group of people I’d rather [put on events] with,” Rood said, adding that she is so proud of the hard work that each individual puts into making Truman’s events possible.
Students who have signed up for this thrilling event can look forward to riding in a brightly colored hot air balloon with three of their closest friends while looking across the town of Kirksville at dusk.
Sophomore Kara Hunt, SAB’s special events committee chair, said partaking in this event is a new experience.
“It’s something you don’t normally get at college or even your hometown,” Hunt said. “Being able to experience that when you wouldn’t be able to otherwise is a great opportunity.”
Many Truman students are just as excited as Hunt, as almost every time slot was filled the week before the event. Rood said although it’s a disappointment that this event had to be capped due to safety measures, it’s great to see so many people interested in attending.
Similarly, Hunt said she is excited to see the turnout for this event. After having been isolated for so long, she feels that students will be more willing to get out and attend these types of events.
Rood echoed this sentiment, explaining that this is a chance to take a step out of the daily rut many students have fallen into and do something exciting that is entirely out of the ordinary.
“[Riding in a hot air balloon] is a break from reality and gives you much-needed relief from the daily grind,” Rood said.
The opportunity is free to all students through an online signup, although spots are limited. Members of SAB hope each student who participates enjoys such an exhilarating event while watching the balloons light up the sky.