SALEM - "This is pretty exciting," Mayor John Berlin said after learning that for the second straight year a Goodyear blimp will fly over Salem skies during the Super Cruise in June.
"City hall certainly appreciates it ... it makes is easier to have an event like this," Berlin said of the 8th Super Cruise and the fourth under city management.
Kyle Cranmer, who co-owns Salem Tire, the local Goodyear Tire and Rubber retail outlet, with Jim Stockton, confirmed the blimp is coming "weather permitting."
Cranmer and Stockton had asked for the blimp for the 2011 Super Cruise, but high winds kept it grounded and last year it made appearances on both Friday and Saturday.
"I have requested it for both days like last year," Cranmer said, adding, "it's great that they do it for us."
Salem Tire is located at 2300 E. State St.
Berlin said, "It certainly is welcome to have them return. It gives credibility to our celebration of automobiles ... I'm really happy to count on the blimp's presence this year ... and Salem Tire ... that's great ..."
Cranmer noted the town's great reaction last year and said the blimp's appearance helped the Arby's Cruise next door. Arby's holds cruises every Saturday throughout the summer and raises donations for the Salem Community Food Pantry.
No times were set for the "Spirit of Goodyear" to arrive over Salem.
Berlin added, "We're happy the event is going to take place again and for them to be willing to come back ... we can't thank Goodyear, Kyle and Jim enough ... I can't be more thrilled to know it's going to happen again.
"It's hard to put into words to think this blimp appears over NFL football games and around the world ..."
There are three Goodyear blimps based in the United States and they are "among the most recognized brand icons, representing one of the world's largest tire and rubber companies," the company said.
Last year, Cranmer said getting the blimp to Salem was "quite an endeavor" and hoped the opportunity grew.
For more information on the "Spirit of Goodyear" visit www.goodyearblimp.com. Also follow the Goodyear Blimp on Facebook.com/GoodyearBlimp.
The next Salem Super Cruise meeting will be April 24 in city hall.
The meetings are open to the public.
During last week's Super Cruise meeting, Service Safety Director Ken Kenst, who manages the cruise for the city, said that Salem Expert Tire will be sponsoring "Big Foot" at this year's cruise.
Larry Shields can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org