Thousands watch a rain of a 100,000 paper airplanes

Posted September 27, 2009

Over 20,000 people jammed the streets and reached for the skies as a rainbow of hand-folded paper airplanes were released from rooftops in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids.

The September 27, 2009 event was the ArtPrize submission from Rob Bliss, who was simultaneously creating a video as part of his entry.

The much-larger-than-expected crowd waved in happy anticipation to the crews perched on top of six buildings. Musicians of all levels were invited to participate, and as they struck up a simple, sustained melody, the paper airplanes began to tumble down in sections of bright colors.

Children began scooping up the planes as soon as they reached the ground, and spontaneous trades were made to collect a full set of six colors. Some of the planes had been printed with the music being played by the band.

It was all over in under an hour, but will be remembered for a long time to come.