8. It Takes 10,000 People Per Year to Put the Parade Together
Though the parade itself only takes place once a year, it takes about 10,000 people to make the parade happen. In addition, the people in charge of the parade’s production are actually full-time employees.
There are several kinds of tasks that must be fulfilled for the parade. A flight management team consisting of a pilot, two co-pilots, a captain, two assistant captains, and people to control the balloon’s vehicle, is needed for each balloon. There are also inflation teams who blow up the balloons the night before the parade.
Aside from the physical maintenance of the balloons, much effort is put into researching each balloon and planning each one’s creation. The parade also requires the talents of several engineers, who analyze each balloon and test the effects of different wind speeds and heights on its ability to stay on its path. This doesn’t mean that accidents don’t happen, but many safety measures have arisen from the mistakes.
Finally, for the actual parade, the balloon handlers dress in costumes that match their balloon. And it takes about a month to launder these clothes, and another to package them.