PERRY COUNTY — Several Perry County citizens caught a glimpse of an American pop culture icon Sunday, not on the streets, but rather, in the sky. The world famous Goodyear Blimp passed overhead on its way home from the Virginia Tech vs. University of Tennessee football game Saturday evening in Bristol. Many folks, who saw the blimp, were surprised by how low it was flying; low enough to actually read the Goodyear logo.
Saturday’s football game, billed as The Battle At Bristol, set the NCAA record for highest attendance and was the first football game ever played at Bristol Motor Speedway. The crowd of more than 150 thousand was not treated to a nail-biter, as Tennessee easily beat Virginia Tech by a final score of 45 to 24. The Blimp, however, did its part to add excitement to the weekend’s festivities by offering skydiving, as well as aerial views of the stadium during the game.
Goodyear blimps first graced the sky in 1925. In the early days, Goodyear often lent service of the blimp to the American military. Today, Goodyear boasts a fleet of blimps, which are stationed in various parts of the country and have become popular staples of major public events. The blimp that ventured across the mountains Sunday was en route to its hangar in Akron, Ohio. Folks will be happy to know that the blimp made it home safely.
Sam Neace can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.