Jamestown attractors are playing host to a whole new kind of tourist.
The Fireball Run Adventurally, which aids in the recovery of missing children, rolled into the Jamestown area on Sunday. The rally features 40 teams that made their way to several area landmarks throughout the day, including Panama Rocks, the Jamestown Audubon Center, Fenton History Museum, Cummins Engine, Robert H. Jackson Center, Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Lucy-Desi Museum and Infinity Visual and Performing Arts to complete challenges. Over the next week, the teams will continue on their journey until they reach Bangor, Maine. Prior to the start of this year's event, the rally series had aided in the recovery of 38 missing children, and it was announced today that the number had moved to 39.
"Everything turned out better today than I expected it to," said Lee Harkness, executive director of the Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation. "We were dealt some nasty weather today, but I had people talking to me who were amazed at what we have to offer in Jamestown. Everything was way above expectations for this event."
Handling birds was another way for Fireball Run competitors to score points while at the Jamestown Audubon Center and Nature Sanctuary.
Ariane Dart, a competitor in the Fireball Run, was one of those people who was surprised by the amount that Jamestown had to offer.
"I think it'll be very hard for another town to match this during the rally," said Dart. "I don't know how anyone could even come close. The whole experience in this area has been seamless. Everything was very well organized and all of the people that we've met have been so kind and welcoming."
See FIREBALL, Page A3
Competitors began to descend on the finish line, located at Lafayette and Third streets, at about 4:30 p.m.
There were are large number of area residents waiting at the finish line, acting as an unofficial welcoming party for all of the drivers. Competitors handed out flyers for the missing children that they represented, as well as trading cards full of information about the individual teams.
Despite a turn for the worse for the weather, the teams remained in high spirits as they checked in to their rooms, talked to fans and got ready for dinner. During the dinner that was served to all of the competitors and crew at the newly renovated Jamestown Gateway Station on W. Second Street, several speakers were brought to the stage to address the guests.
Mayor Sam Teresi was on hand for the speeches, during which time he presented J. J. Sanchez, producer of the Fireball Run, with a key to the city of Jamestown.
"This key is not just a way to show our gratitude," said Teresi, "but also to symbolize the hearts and minds that can be opened by the mission of this rally."
The last speaker to address the crowd was Harkness, who thanked everyone for coming together to make this event possible. Harkness, who had previously said that he believes the Fireball Run could be a tool for economic development, closed out the night making sure that any entrepreneurs interested in the area know that he and the rest of the city are serious about encouraging them to come back.
"I would just like to say that Jamestown is open for business!" said Harkness.
For more information about the Fireball Run Adventurally and to watch the even live online, visit www.fireballrun.com. Once the event concludes, a movie will also be made about this year's rally.