Gerald’s kite is ready to fly

Linda Trest
Staff Writer

A few months ago the City of Gerald purchased a stainless steel kite for the celebration of the Bicentennial of Franklin County. The kite symbolizes Ben Franklin, for whom the county was named. 

Jon Bush of Columbia, formerly of Gerald, was commissioned to paint the kite to represent the community of Gerald. Bush was paid with an unnamed donation, not with city funds. 

The finished kite (right) was delivered to City Hall Tuesday, March 12. It shows two historic buildings, the Rock Island Depot and the old Roller Mill, one of the first businesses in town. 

Running through the center of the kite are railroad tracks, representing the reason that Gerald—a Rock Island Town--—was formed. 

The kite will be on displayed at City Hall this week. It will then be sent to be included in the bicentennial’s scavenger hunt that will begin May 15. The contest will end Oct. 31, giving people plenty of time to locate the kites.

Kites will be scattered at locations throughout the county. People are encouraged to try to find all 200 kites. The objectives for this project are to: 

• Encourage residents and visitors to explore and discover Franklin County’s communities, businesses, parks and tourist destinations.

• Instill community pride while encouraging creativity, innovation, and imagination.

• Create a unique fundraising event for Franklin County’s bicentennial celebrations. 

Through October, the Gerald kite will be at an undisclosed location as part of this hunt. 

Near the end of the year, it will return to town and be permanently displayed in City Hall. 

All kinds of events are planned throughout the county to celebrate the bicentennial. These events are listed at