Pryor Firm Designs Balloon for Inaugural Float

Friday, January 9th 2009, 5:32 pm
By: News 9

By Chris Wright, For NEWS 9

PRYOR, Oklahoma -- A Green Country company will be part of American history.  Wholesale Inflatables, based in Pryor, has designed a giant balloon that will be featured during Barack Obama's Inaugural Parade.

When Barack Obama is sworn in January 20, the millions in attendance will get a look at a giant earth balloon. It is 15 feet in diameter and it will be the centerpiece of George Washington University's Inaugural Parade Float.

The school beat out 1,300 applicants for the honor of building the float, and when it needed a big globe, it turned to Pryor native Brent Taylor.

"It kind of surprised me. It's not something you really think of. It's something you hope you can do," said Brent Taylor of Fred Taylor Furniture.

Taylor's trade is actually selling furniture. His store in Pryor has been in business for more than 40 years.  But, he said it was the furniture business that actually led him to inflatables.

Taylor began importing his furniture from China a couple of years ago. To help fill space and reduce shipping costs, he started importing and selling large inflatables. But, that side business became profitable.

Taylor decided to start his own company, Wholesale Inflatables, and opened a factory in China.

"It's actually pretty big, especially with the economy the way it is.  Everyone is looking for new markets, a way to promote what they've got," said Brent Taylor.

Taylor's company has produced all sorts of big balloons, like the giant Tiger Pryor players sprint out of before football games.  His inflatable UFO has become a YouTube hit, with more than two million views.

But, he said it's the globe, which will be on display for the entire world that he is most proud of.

Taylor's company used a giant printer to get the earth pattern on the globe.  He said the balloon will be able to lift 100 pounds once it is filled with helium.