A photo of the release made front page news in the Plain Dealer, the local paper, the day after the game. On the 4th page, they showed Susan (Susan Hart, our V.P of Fun and Festivities) helping to hold down a net with 600 balloons in it! Then the next week, an article on me ran in the "My Biggest Mistake…and How I Fixed It!" column, showing me at the ballpark with the balloons! It has been a great PR month for us!
We use 2-3 inflation stations with 8-9 people on the "Inflation Crew". It takes about 4 hours from the time we start inflating till we are done, cuz they are good!. The 5 nets have already been sewn (by Susan , Marina, Denise and Kathy) earlier that week and Susan has gone over the check list and made sure we have everything. Over 70 pounds of weights are used to hold down each net, but they still need a person on each end & in the middle to hold them in the wind . It is a very precise day, no room for error. We eat lunch and wait for the 7-8 "Field Crew" to arrive. They come just to help carry the nets out onto the field before the game.
During the National Anthem, we have "cue" words to help us know when to cut the line and release the balloons. Each year they show the words on the screen, well, except for last year! During one of the playoff games they had the Cleveland Orchestra play but no one sang. Since no one was singing, there were no words on the screen! Thanks goodness most of the crew knew the words and cut the lines at the right time!
In October of 1997, I was with my son Terry at a World Series game between our Indians and the Florida Marlins. It was cold, with snowflakes threatening to fall. Before the start of the singing of the National Anthem, I saw a group of people carrying out nets filled with balloons. When the balloons went up I said to myself " We can do better than that! Someday I'll be releasing balloons on this field at the World Series!"
I was hoping to have done it last year, but alas, our team fell short. 2008 is another year and I have put my annual October vacation on hold until I find out how well the Indians do this year, because you never know…this might be the year!
Jacquie Sopko-Crolius, C.B.A (Certified Balloon Artist)
Balloon Crew, Inc.
Cleveland, Ohio 44125
T 216.341.5100 / 216.341.5110
"Decorating…From a Room to an Arena!"