Murray Hill, New Jersey, U.S., November 19, 2007 – Your favorite cast of characters will again soar above the streets of New York City this Thursday, November 22, making children of all ages smile, thanks to helium supplied by Linde for the 81st annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®.
Linde, one of the world’s major helium suppliers, is part of The Linde Group, the leading global gases and engineering group of companies. This is the 13th consecutive year that Linde, formerly known as BOC Gases in the U.S., has been the sole provider of helium to inflate the balloons. This year, Linde will supply some 300,000 cubic feet of helium to the parade so the giant balloons can stand tall to capture the spirit of the holiday.
This year also marks the first time Linde and Macy’s will attempt to reclaim some of the helium used in the Parade balloons. This effort will test the feasibility of recovering balloon helium in order to reduce the total consumption of helium gas.
Steve Penn, head of global helium, Linde, says, “We are proud of our longstanding partnership with Macy’s. The Parade is a national institution that people across the country look forward to seeing year after year. Linde is delighted to work with Macy’s to keep improving the Parade for everyone’s enjoyment.”
Penn says the recycling test is a response to continued tight helium supply. “Macy’s and Linde are looking toward the future to further reduce the amount of helium that’s used. If the trial goes well, Macy’s and Linde may look to expand it in future years to recover more helium.”
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will consist of 11 giant balloons, 11 novelty balloons, 17 ornament balloons, 11 ground-based balloon elements, 24 floats, 11 bands, 1 novelty band, 25 clown groups/props, three toy floats, four cars, six mobile clown vehicles, two mounted units, two horse teams, six performing large groups and 12 stilt walkers that will make the annual 2.5 mile trek down the streets of New York City on Parade day.
With over 50 million viewers across the country and more than 2.5 million spectators that line up along the Parade route each year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a national icon that has grown into a world-famous holiday event that marks the official start of the holiday season.
“Our giant helium character balloons are the signature of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” says John Piper, vice president, Macy’s Parade Studio. “Each year, we partner with Linde for our helium supply that will bring our world-famous character balloons to life.”
Helium used to fill the breathtaking balloons floating over New York City in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins its high-profile journey from the American heartland.
Crude helium is transported by pipeline from its sources in Kansas and Texas to Linde’s helium production facility in Otis, Kan. After the helium is purified and liquefied, it is filled into 11,000-gallon tankers and trucked across the country to a Linde plant in Middlesex, New Jersey.
From there, liquid helium evaporates into helium gas, which is compressed into high-pressure tube trailers a day or two before the Parade. The shiny white tube trailers glisten as they travel from central New Jersey to New York City. First class is the only way to travel for this noble gas.
On the day before the Parade, Linde and Macy’s staff assemble near the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, where workers begin inflating the balloons using gas filling apparatus Linde has customized for the Macy’s Parade. Early Thanksgiving morning, the balloons are topped off with helium and poised for the Parade. As the balloons exit the Parade route, Linde and Macy’s employees will determine which balloons will be selected for the test helium-reclamation effort.
The Linde Group is the leading global gases and engineering group of companies with more than 50,000 employees working in around 70 countries worldwide. Following the acquisition of The BOC Group the company has gases and engineering sales of approximately 12 billion euros. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards forward-looking products and services.
For more information, please see The Linde Group online at http://www.linde.com
Linde corporate relations
Macy’s Press Office