Many Audrain County residents were surprised to see a blimp in the air last Thursday.
Several sightings were reported in the morning in Mexico and many Vandalia residents spotted the rare site in the afternoon.
Painted on the side of the blimp was the message “Create a great state! # GrowMo”
The blimp, which is approximately 200 feet long and 60 foot wide, was leased by “Grow Missouri” through the middle of November.
The “Grow Missouri” group is a PAC backed by conservative political activist Rex Sinquefeld, who donated $2.5 million to the cause.
A goal for the blimp, which is also called a skyship or airship by the PAC, is to gain information about agriculture, transportation, and conservation.
According to www.growmissouri.com, ‘“Create a Great State’ is a statewide effort driven by Grow Missouri – a broad-based coalition formed to advocate policies that will make Missouri a more competitive, more attractive place in which to live and work. Led by a team of grassroots organizers and engaged citizens, ‘Create a Great State’ will awaken the consciences of likeminded Missourians who also reject the status quo and refuse to settle for mediocrity.”
The project’s organizers hope to reach at least 100,000 taxpayers in 100 days while collecting more than 100 ideas to make the “state great.” It also hopes to identify at least $100 million in wasted state taxpayer dollars.
The blimp has already traveled through most of the state, being featured in St. Louis, Kansas City, and even flying over a University of Missouri football game.