WHAT a great stunt! For $21 ($23 after May 1), you can have your family picture put into the biggest electronic photo album ever, help pay for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and have a chance to win some camera equipment, make some great pictures, get some exercise and watch a rock concert.
I'm talking about the 1986 Kodak Liberty Ride Festival to be held on May 18 in more than a hundred cities. In this area the action will be at Gallaudet College, 800 Florida Avenue NE.
Here's the way it will work: Each city will have its own balloon launch. More than half a million helium-filled balloons will be launched nationwide, many of them tagged with coupons redeemable for processing, rolls of VR-G film and even the new Kodak VR 35 cameras.
Then there'll be the Liberty Ride, a non-competitive bicycle ride for people of all ages and abilities.
After the ride there will be a picnic box lunch provided by the organizers and a rock concert. The concert will be held at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans and beamed by satellite to participating cities. Headliners include Hall and Oates, The Hooters, Huey Lewis and the News and the Neville Brothers.
The part I like the best is the building of "America's Family Album," a continuing electronic photo exhibit with pictures stored on video disks. As part of your ticket, you'll receive an entry coupon that entitles you to send a photo of you or your family for inclusion in this remarkable photo album.
You'll receive a personal identification number that you can use when you visit the statue. You'll be able to call up your picture from a computer terminal and you'll also be able to call up pictures of the president, the vice president, members of the Cabinet, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse. That sounds like a great afternoon for a camera fan.
Happily, Washington is one of the participating cities. The official opening ceremonies are at 11 a.m., with the introduction of some of our local celebrities and the balloon launch, which could make for some terrific shots.
At noon the Liberty Ride gets under way. There will be three courses: five miles, 15 miles and 25 miles. If you don't want to ride, there will be entertainment to occupy your time.
At 3 p.m., the box lunch picnic starts, and at 3:30 the concert begins in the Gallaudet auditorium.
All this and a commemorative T-shirt, too. Bring your camera and lots of film.
Tickets are now available through Ticketron. Incidentally, if you don't want to participate in the day's events, you can simply buy a $10 coupon to get your picture into the photo album -- money that will go to the reconstruction fund. Those coupons are available at a number of photo stores in the area or you can write to Eastman Kodak, Dept. 412-L-AFA, 343 State Street, Rochester, N.Y. 14650