DETROIT (WWJ) – It’s difficult to imagine The American’s Thanksgiving Day parade with out the giant hot air balloons, but up until a few weeks ago, that would have been a reality.

Parade Company CEO Tony Michaels said it was a close call. Their helium supplier asked them to be prepared to limit the number of balloons in this years parade.

“The helium shortage was all real,” Michaels told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Marie Osborne. “The helium was going to be used first and foremost for hospitals and surgical procedures and so on, and we completely understood that.

“We were a good solider. We understood the program, we locked down that we needed and then, first week in October we were told we have unlimited supply now,” he said.

The helium shortage is due in part, to the down turn in natural gas production. Micheals said there will be six giant balloons in this year’s parade.


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