By Travis McMullen Contributing Columnist
April 22, 2014
Mix equal parts 1981’s cult classic “The Cannonball Run” and CBS’ “The Amazing Race” and season liberally with advocacy for a great cause you get “Fireball Run,” a road race and the web series that documents it.
“The Most Epic Adventurally in America” starts their latest season Sept. 26 in Frisco, Texas, and hits overnight stops in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri before careening towards the finish line in Independence. They do crazy things and meet interesting people all while supporting the Child Rescue Network. Each team is assigned a missing child and throughout the course of their adventure they hand out fliers and generally try to get the word out about their child.
It was recently announced that this automotive circus is going to stop over right here in the State Fair City and it’s definitely the sort of thing that we should be excited about. By attracting events like the Fireball Run, the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America International Rally, and the The Wally Byam Caravan Club International Rally, we can work to make it so that Sedalia gets those visitor dollars year-round instead of just during the fair and the Scott Joplin Festival.
The Fireball Run is exactly the sort of wild and innovative thing that I like to see in Sedalia: a crazy road rally with loud personalities and a catchy name. If a thing like that can see fit to choose Sedalia, then I think Sedalia could host just about anything. Maybe we need to invest some money in building a grand convention center if Sedalia is really going to start being an event destination. Imagine it: the State Fair Convention Center, intertwined with the State Fair Hilton — come here and have your used car dealer conventions and faucet fixture shows.
And collectively we should probably be thankful that The Fireball Run is choosing to hit Sedalia. There are other reasonably attractive options between stop No. 6, Pulaski County and Independence, like the capitol city, or the home of Missouri’s only Division I NCAA football team, or the home of the reigning Division II basketball national champions. Nah, Warrensburg isn’t allowed to beat out Sedalia for any opportunities, the Silver Tiger just wouldn’t allow it.
I know part of the reason that we landed the Fireball Run is due to the tireless efforts of Caroyln Crooker and the rest of the hard working individuals at the Sedalia Convention and Visitors Bureau. Things like this don’t just happen randomly.
So when the run comes into town, it is essential that we give them a warm welcome and show them a good time. We’ve got to line the appropriate city limits to welcome them in and see them off. If the racers and the production crew don’t have a good time it’s going to be hard for them to turn in work that doesn’t reflect that at least in some small way. But I guess there’s no reason to worry — we’ve heard time and time again about the pleasant experiences that visitors have had with locals.
So to the Fireball Runners, thanks for choosing us. We’ll do what we can to make the Sedalia section of the race as interesting as possible. Here’s to all the people on the Sedalia side that helped to make that decision happen.
Here’s to Ron Ditzfeld and Rick Yeager, who will represent the Queen City of the Prairies and spread the good word of Sedalia. We need to make ourselves available to them, because they are the sort of people who will likely excel at the pure racing aspect of the contest but might need our help with the trivia portion along the way. Thanks for being Sedalia’s Fireball Run representatives, gentlemen.
Clear the road of kindling, because the Fireball is coming.