As Wags Ridicule Great Park Balloon, Irvine Makes It Brighter

The fact that after all the fighting, gubmenting and millions and millions and millions in spending the Orange County Great Park only has a balloon ride in the middle of a small Preview Park has been the subject of much ridicule, most recently by Orange County Register columnist Frank Mickadeit and the Weekly's R. Scott Moxley.

So how does the city of Irvine respond? By drawing more attention to its orange balloon. The city's invitation to local media to cover a new, illuminated balloon follows . . .

New Great Park Balloon to Shine A
Brighter Orange in the Sky

New technology protects pigment and
uses internal illumination

1, 2009

Eric Bachelier, Project Manager, Aerophile
Balloon Manufacturers
Rod Cooper, Director of Operations, OC Great
Crew of thirty workers who will install the new
Great Park Balloon envelope
Media by appointment.

Inflation of the new upgraded Great Park
Balloon envelope.

A crew of thirty people over five days to
install the new Great Park Balloon envelope. The process includes deflating the
original round envelope and removing it from the landing platform. Laying out the new envelope
on the platform and pumping it full with 210,000 cubic feet of
helium. The crew will utilize
400 sandbags to ballast the lift until the net can be attached to the
existing tether.

Please note the exact times are dependent on
weather conditions.

2: Visuals of
balloon inflation preparation, filing of sand bags, instrument test,
gondola assembly.

December 3: Inflation is planned
for 3 p.m. However, this
time may change as weather conditions could delay inflation.

4: Testing
will begin early Friday and again at night to test illumination. Please telephone for updates.

5: If all
goes well, flights will resume Saturday.

Orange County Great Park
Balloon Site
Off 5 Freeway and Sand

The new balloon envelope will now
features a dye impregnated fabric with UV protected pigment that will
protect its beautiful bright orange hue for several years. The balloon envelope is the actual
fabric that gives the balloon its round shape. The envelope is now also
enhanced with internal illumination to improve its night time visibility
for miles.

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