Online travel show featuring Pulaski County to enhance marketing, help find missing children, support charity

Producers of an online adventure travel show visited Pulaski County last week to see the sights, meet with the locals, and announce details on the show's main event taking place here in October.

Pulaski County has been selected as a destination site for season eight of Fireball Run: America’s Frontier and its Race to Recover America’s Missing Children.

Fireball Run is an eight-day, 2000-mile, life-sized trivia game where America serves as the game board. Forty driving teams will travel across the Midwest this fall to compete for glory. The show is aired online to more than 2 million viewers, according to the show's website.

On Friday, community leaders and Fireball producers held a press conference to reveal more details about the show.

Pulaski County Tourism Bureau Executive Director Beth Wiles announced that Pulaski County's charity of choice for Fireball Run will be Good Samaritan.

The “travel-adventure” show also has a purpose other than glory: to find missing children.

Each team is assigned a missing child from their hometown region and is tasked with distributing posters along the route; the awareness campaign has aided in 43 child recoveries since 2007.

Wiles announced that Pulaski County's team will be for raising awareness for 16-year-old Kylie Lawrence of Springfield who has been missing since July, 2013.

Wiles said that Downtown Waynesville has been chosen as the start and finish line location for the show.

“We are thrilled to have this in our community,” Waynesville Mayor Luge Hardman said. “We have been working hard with marketing our area. We are so excited to be welcoming [Fireball Run] here.”

Fireball Run Executive Producer J. Sanchez said that the show will give Pulaski County a unique opportunity to market itself. Sanchez said the teams are composed of industry leaders, celebrities, elected officials and business owners who aren't competing for money.

“There are going to be several billionaires here [for the show],” Sanchez said. “They might never of heard of Pulaski County and they are going to get an authentic experience here.”

Sanchez said that the Fireball Run team members often see an area because of the show and decide to start a business there.

The travel destination show will be competing at different locations across Pulaski County for one day. Sites included will be in Crocker, Dixon, Fort Leonard Wood, Richland, St. Robert and Waynesville.

America’s Frontier is this season’s theme. During the show, driving teams move from destination-to-destination to solve clues and accomplish tasks based on host destination points-of-interest, history, and culture.

Sanchez said that he can't reveal specifics as to what the teams will be doing here, but it will showcase the outdoor adventures Pulaski County as to offer, as well as the museums on Fort Leonard Wood.

Sanchez said that there are many bonuses to the show being online, including unlimited exposure.

"The way to see Fireball Run is less as an event and more as an advertising tool,” Sanchez said. “It is a three-year advertising tour, beginning with social media now.”

The adventure begins Sept. 27 in Frisco, Texas and finishes Oct. 4 in Independence, MO. The public is encouraged to join the festivities in downtown Waynesville for an afternoon of live streaming, family fun, meet celebrity teams and see their rides on Thursday, Oct.2 and again on Friday morning, Oct. 3 for the Day 7 green flag start.

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