Anyone who stayed awake to watch the end of the Democratic National Convention Thursday night couldn’t miss that balloon drop.
More than 100,000 red, white and blue balloons were dropped on the convention floor at the event in Philadelphia.
And the Lehigh Valley can take some hometown pride in that display. BalloonWorks, which is run by certified balloon artist Karen Ford of Palmer Township, was a local liaison for the company hired to run the balloon drop, and provided 11 of the more than 30 people it took to make it happen.
Ford said she was contacted by Treb Heining of Glasshouse Balloon Co. of California, who was in charge of the drop, and who she said is considered to be one of the founders of the balloon décor industry.
“He called and asked, ‘Hey do you want to help with this?’” Ford said.
She said while Heining traditionally works with local volunteers, such as a Cleveland-area high school band for this year’s Republican National Convention, he received the contract for the DNC on short notice and needed professionals to help make the project come together quickly.
Ford said her group’s participation was mostly in the prep work, blowing up, tying balloons and placing them into the 39 of the roughly 60 nets above the convention floor.
Because of the volume of the work, she said she had to hire extra people and said it was exciting for them to be working on such a large, high-profile project their first time out.
For sure, it was a lot of grunt work and a long day. They prepped the balloons from 7:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. last Thursday to have everything installed before the convention began.
“It’s a big production. There were a lot of sore fingers afterwards, but it was an experience,” she said.
Ford said she saw the actual drop while at home watching the convention on TV like most other people and was thrilled with the result of all their hard work.
“It is the outcome that’s amazing,” she said. “It was a lot of balloons.”
Ford said she’s already heard comments from many people who thought the display was spectacular and she’ll take the compliment, but out of professional courtesy she said she had to say she thought the balloon drop at the Republican convention in Cleveland was equally as impressive, noting that drop was also produced by Heining.