FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27 — There are giant parade balloons of Olive Oyl and Miss Piggy, but until now, no one has ever produced a balloon of an actual historic woman.
All that will change on October 2, when a forty-five foot helium balloon of Amelia Earhart in her red Lockheed Vega will make its first test flight in the 2010 Circle City Classic Parade in Indianapolis. Three to four hundred thousand people are expected to be on hand to witness the launch of the balloon. The parade will also be televised in Indianapolis, greatly increasing the viewership of the historic moment.
The Earhart balloon will be one of five balloons in the parade, all supplied by StarBound Entertainment. The balloon will escorted by thirty balloon handlers dressed in white jumpsuits patterned after Amelia Earhart’s famous flight suit.
The Amelia Earhart balloon was the brainchild of EVE (Equal Visibility Everywhere) founder and president Dr. Lynette Long. Long was frustrated by the lack of balloons of female characters in parades across the country. “When I was a child I watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, and there wasn’t a single female character balloon in the parade,” she explains. “I decided that needed to change!” The result is a joint venture between EVE and StarBound Entertainment, a leading balloon supplier, to introduce a new line of balloons honoring great American women.
“We could have chosen to depict female cartoon characters,” Long explains, “but since the stories of historic women are virtually omitted from our nation’s narrative, we thought it would be better to tell the stories of real women and inspire young girls, telling them they can achieve anything.”
Amelia Earhart was selected for the first balloon based on her accomplishments as an aviator (the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, the first person to solo over the Pacific) as well as her current popularity (last year’s Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian featured Earhart and her red Lockheed Vega, while Hillary Swank starred in the biopic Amelia.) Toni McKay, the president of StarBound Entertainment, also voted for Earhart since she felt the red Lockheed Vega would make an especially striking and aerodynamic balloon.
Funding for the balloon was raised from individual donors, each of whom became a member of “EVE’s 99 Club,” named after the original Ninety-Nines founded by Amelia Earhart. The balloon was designed by Chad Baptiste, a Fort Lauderdale artist.
Lynette Long, President of EVE