Chatham Selectmen Okay Concert Balloons for Another Summer

CHATHAM – Selectmen in Chatham voted last week to allow the sale of balloons during concerts at Kate Gould Park next summer.

Balloons have been a tradition at the concerts and are sold as a fundraiser by St. Martin’s Masonic Lodge.

Selectman Jeffrey Dykens says he is conflicted between tradition and environmental concerns but voted to allow the sale for another year.

“I would support a one-year study,” said Dykens. “I do think that we need to focus more on education and to be careful. I would certainly also support a regional solution.”

Resident Suzanne Nickerson commended the Masons for selling biodegradable balloons, but says they still harm wildlife.

“If a balloon or pieces of balloons go into waterways they mimic jellyfish and may be eaten by wildlife,” she said. “Because there is a string or ribbon attached to a balloon the string may be ingested or the animal may get entangled in it and die.”

Selectmen believe the issue of balloon sales needs to be studied and that a town wide ban may be warranted.

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