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    by Published on 24th October 2016 09:16 PM
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    China Balloon Palace - Sean with the project manager Guido Verhoef

    As many of you would know I am a local, Melbourne event decorator who prominently works with balloons. What you may not know is that I have recently returned from 11 breathless days at the World Balloon Festival, 2016 in Xiamen, China.
    by Published on 29th April 2016 11:46 AM
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    Compiled and written by Sean J.O'Kelly

    Part Two:
    by Published on 22nd January 2016 01:42 PM  Number of Views: 662 
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    Compiled and written by
    Sean J.O'Kelly

    Part One: PARTY BALLOONS - If You Take Your Balloons Seriously - You Can Have Lots of Fun.

    It has been conservatively estimated that inexcess of 20 million balloons are sold in Australia/New Zealand every year. If you consider a further 50million plus, are sold in California alone and then if you add the remaining US States, the still expanding markets of Europe, Asia, Russia and of course the rest of world the total number would surly give a new meaning to the global inflation rate.

    These incredible figures make it feasible to say that, every day, somewhere around the world thousands of people are decorating with and enjoying the friendly, non-threatening nature of the humble 'party balloon'.

    Balloon decorations have changed a lot over the years. I can remember a time way back, when I was just a boy, (mid last Century) that if you were really lucky you had a couple of balloons to decorate your party. Back then they only came in a few basic sizes and shapes, perhaps a half a dozen colours and were usually considered to be a simple decoration accessory along with the once mandatory paper streamer. More often than not the inflated decoration was nothing more than a couple of weak coloured, over-inflated rubber bubbles Special tapped to the wall. Deflating, to say the least.

    Today, things are a little different, with many variations between the brands there are dozens of colours and textures, shapes and sizes and a seemingly unlimited number of theme prints available on the latex balloons. These numbers can easily be multiplied several times over when you count the thousands of shaped and messaged foil balloons available. Incredible as it may seem, these balloons are being inflated, tied together, bunched and twisted by thousands balloon decorators, entertainers, clowns, office workers,mums and dads, marketing people, retailers, and of course your average everyday party animals whooping it up around the world every day.

    Today, with a little attention given to the design andconstruction, the many colours, shapes and sizes of balloons available makespossible to create anything

    Historically balloons in one form oranother have been around for thousands of years. The Egyptians are known to have used animal bladders as a balloon/ball for the amusement of children and it has been recorded that Galileo used an inflated pig's bladder to measure the weight of air.
    Rubber was first used to make a balloon in 1824 when Professor Michael Faraday shaped a balloon bag for his experiments with gases and raw rubber at the Royal Institute in London. Balloons for various applications were being sold in Europe and the United States as early as 1889 with commercial manufacturing beginning in the US in 1907.

    In 1912 the world of balloons changed dramatically with the introduction of the first non-round balloon being a cigar shape. This balloon must be the original 'sausage balloon' which eventually inspired the development

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