Cool Stuff Being Made: How Parade Balloons Are Made

By November 22, 2006Cool Stuff Being Made

macysthumbnail.jpgAs promised, here is our special Thanksgiving edition of Cool Stuff Being Made. You’ve seen baseball bats for the All-Star game, golf clubs and tennis balls for the Masters and Wimbledon, respectively and now (drum roll please…) on the occasion of Thanksgiving, what could be more Thanksgiving-y than parade balloons?

Tomorrow, three and a half million people will gather in New York City for the “Macy’s Day Parade.” Some 50 million people will watch it on TV. Every one of them will be watching manufactured products float by, courtesy of Aerostar, a division of Raven Industries in South Dakota. Raven is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and it is one of those quiet and great US manufacturing companies. It is a half-century success story, a company that has constantly innovated and reinvented itself to stay competitive and stay vibrant. Along the way, they build some of the highest-tech and coolest stuff you’ve ever seen. You can check out their website to see it for yourself.

Their Aerostar division has been making balloons of all shapes and sizes for 50 years — weather balloons, hot air balloons, you name it. This 6-minute video will show you how the most public of them all are made, the parade balloon. They will walk you through the seven steps, from concept to fruition and every step in between.

So tomorrow, when you hear the man say, “Let’s have a parade!” and watch the 12 giant balloons and nearly 50 other assorted balloons float by, you’ll be watching the handiwork and innovation of America’s manufacturers and will have some idea of the creativity and hard work that goes into these floating wonders. Scooby-Doo alone is 42 feet tall, 43 feet long and 37 feet wide, with over 13,000 cubic feet of helium inside and 52 handling lines, to keep him on the straight and narrow.

Click here to watch this special Thanksgiving edition of Cool Stuff Being Made and feel the manufacturing vibe. And, as with all our Cool Stuff Being Made videos, you can download them onto your video iPod. How cool is that?

And if you’re interested in a career that pays well and will keep you challenged creating stuff, click here. But beware, this is no place for slackers — we need only the best in today’s manufacturing.

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