Balloon race organizers: Where’s Larry?
Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 26, 2000
Bring back the Limbo Larrys. That’s the message organizers of the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race are sending out to unknown thieves of two air-filled dancing figures at last weekend’s festival.
Sunday evening, just as the festival was coming to a close, someone turned off the fans that fill the 30-foot figures with air, then neatly folded and carried the Larrys out the back gate, said Sally Durkin, crew coordinator.
A security guard watching the culprits assumed they were the owners because of the care with which they packed up the figures, Durkin said.
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The thieves even told the guard on the way out they would be back later to pick up the fans. The guard has given a description of the culprits to festival organizers.
&uot;I’m just sick that somebody would do something — I hate to say it, but — low,&uot; Durkin said. &uot;When something like this happens, it really seems to take away from the whole event.&uot;
The Larrys are the creation of Terry and Rita Colgate of Monroe, La., who are also hot-air balloon pilots.
Normally, the Colgates rent the Larrys out to weekend events for about $400 each but had allowed the balloon festival to use them at no cost.
Durkin said the balloon race organizers are now faced with replacing the Larrys unless they are returned.
Organizers are asking that the Larrys be returned to the Natchez Visitors Reception Center on John R. Junkin Drive — no questions asked.
Also, if anyone has any information on the disappearance of the Larrys, call Laura Godfrey at the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau at 446-6345 or Durkin at 442-8111.