Fox 8 in Indianapolis reports that there will be no balloon release at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500.
Nor any future Indy 500’s for that matter. IMS representative Alex Damron told Fox 8 the balloon release is “indefinitely paused.”
According to a FOX59 report on a 2019 IndyStar investigation, IMS officials said the thousands of balloons released in previous Indy 500s are biodegradable.
A reporter tested balloons similar to the ones used by IMS and tracked their progress over 11 months. She found when exposed to bacteria, the balloons “do degrade unlike a plastic.”
The balloon release has been heavily criticized by groups like the Indiana Audobon Society, who say the balloon debris is a hazard to birds, fish, and other animals. They say animals can be strangled by the balloons and can be seriously harmed, even die, if the balloons are ingested.
The pre-race balloon release dates as far back as 1947 and to date there is ZERO evidence of any birds, fish, or other animals being harmed.