When more than 750 balloons sailed into the sky Wednesday, they carried more than just hot air for Joaquin Elementary students. Students were hoping the balloons carry the school's 50th birthday message far and wide.Attached to each balloon was a piece of paper with the student's first name, classroom number and the school's address.

The balloon launch was only the beginning of Joaquin's birthday party.

Students from kindergarten to sixth grade joined in the celebration through song and dance. Each grade presented a decade in time since the school opened its doors Sept. 14, 1938.

"This party is for you," Principal Marlin Palmer said. "A lot of history has gone on here."

Wednesday evening, the school hosted the golden jubilee open house for alumni and former faculty members. Golden anniversary coordinator LuWana Edwards said more than 250 people attended, including about 15 members of the class of 1938.

Palmer, Edwards and the rest of the staff at Joaquin have worked this year to teach students the history and instill a feeling of pride in the school. They plan to continue the golden anniversary celebration throughout the year.

Joaquin Elementary, 550 N. Sixth East, was named after a young Laguna Indian boy, named Joaquin by Spanish explorers. The boy was the first child in recorded history to enter Utah Valley. He came to the area with Fathers Dominiguez and Escalante.