4.30am – 20 Arches Complete.
This years EID celebration required 20 balloon arches to decorate Small Heath Park in Birmingham. I worked on this event in 2014 but this years task required more planning because of the quantity of balloons and last minute access.
With Eid nobody knows the exact event date until the very last minute. This makes organising a crew and prepping balloons in advance a bit more difficult.
At first I considered inflating all 4500 balloons in my Birmingham shop and transporting them on aeropole rods to the event. I decided this was muppetry as the Park is a 20 minute drive and no point having a fully trained balloon expert driving a van all night.
Next I thought about hiring a church hall or School near the park. Again, because we didn’t know the exact date this would mean hiring a hall for 3 days.
In the end I came up with a quick way of inflating the balloons via Nitrogen cylinders rigged up to a digital inflator which was plugged into the van cigarette lighter. I would not advise connecting an electric AIR inflator to your vehicle as it will kill the battery but as we were getting the pressure from cylinders a small click from our conwin inflator used next to no battery power for 10 hours.
I estimated 2 arches per G20 cylinder but in the end I got more than 3 (216 balloons per arch inflated to 8″).
I had 4 crew, starting at 6pm and finished at 4am. For those balloon experts out there it took us 1.5 hours just to connect the pins to base plates and setup 20 sets of 6 poles. I taped the poles together and ran line though each garland to stop them coming apart in any weather conditions.
As I left the park you can see my drive through video from the outside pathway.
UPDATE: We took 10 x G20 Cylinders on site and came away with 5 full, so we actually managed 4 arches from each cylinder – 864 balloons inflated to 8″ from each cylinder.