Birth of a balloon in the City
Hundreds of parade revelers were awestruck when they saw the City of Hamilton's winning entry in the Heritage Day Parade on May 24th. The eye-catching entry, towering over the crowds and the heads of its handlers, was reminiscent of a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The 30-foot balloon, reiterated the City's Vision statement whilst the accompanying van, wrapped in a multitude of colours, paid homage to long-serving City staff members as well as those staff that the City recently lost and highlighted a few factoids about the City. The balloon was the brainstorm of the City of Hamilton's Events and Marketing Department and was a first for the City.
Event Project Manager, Jessica Astwood, who joined the City in October 2018, knew that participation by the City in the parade was a must.
“The City is the heart of Bermuda. It's our capital, an international financial centre and retail and restaurant hub; it's where the greater community gathers on a day-to-day basis, whether it's to work, visit, live or play. There is so much that our City workers do to keep Hamilton clean, safe and looking beautiful and the Heritage Day Parade was the perfect opportunity to recognize and celebrate our exceptional staff”, Mrs. Astwood said.
The balloon was manufactured by American company, Fabulous Inflatables. A specialist from the company trained the handlers and oversaw the inflating process. The twenty handlers consisting of management, staff and Board Members ensured that it meandered through the parade route without incident.
The City won two first place ribbons for Best Art Float and Best Corporate Float.
Mrs. Astwood added, “I'm extremely proud of our team as well as the City staff and members who came out to support our participation in the parade. The balloon was an ambitious project but I think that we pulled off something that could perhaps become a new tradition and maybe we blazed a trail for future Bermuda Day parades entrants.”
• Press release from the City of Hamilton