Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Incredibly Shrinking Purple Balls

NYE 2013
and the story of The Great Temecula Grape Drop

It was a great idea. You have an ice rink open on New Years Eve, why not have a party. And since we live in Southern California Wine Country - and the Ice Rink is in Old Town Temecula - why not drop a giant illuminated bunch of grapes from city hall?

The first bunch was simple. Not really. How do you create a 3-foot by 5-foot bunch of grapes, light them, and have them descend from a crane. (City hall was not complete that year.) A ton of searching giant holiday exhibits and looking for PURPLE balls of size, and I had a solution - purple sequined tree ornaments - the biggest we could find. 

But still how do you make them glow and shine. Sequins would need a spot light of some sort and not give the image of .. well the big apple's crystal ball. So LeAnn found illuminated spheres (6") at Costco. They were clear. We thought "Lets paint them purple" to match the sequined balls. Wrong - there is an internal light vs external light compatibility issue. Some purple is blue, some is red and if you have external lights to the sphere vs internal, well some of those come out raspberry.
But eventually we did create the perfect bunch. It ended up 3x6-feet instead of 5 and was a great hit, although when we wanted to drop them from city hall, we wanted them a little bigger. So we added some sequined balls that year - couldn't find anymore of the inner lit spheres, and we added some really cool leaves. 

Well, they were cool until the test drop occurred during the 2010 rain storms and the leaves color washed away, and the leaves melted all over our purple balls. A quick fix worked for the year and no one was the wiser.  Notice the picture at the top ... that was 2012 NYE... SOME of the balls are a little "raspberry." If you look to the left, under the green leaf, another ball is a little "raspberry." 
Well these were actually perfectly matched purple balls - matched to the purple sequined ball. But with lights on the OUTSIDE they came out pinker than our burgundy sprayed spheres with white lights on the inside.

Go figure. 

And that wasn't the least of my creative dilemma. For this year the request was a bunch of grapes twice the size.  More to come.

New Years Eve in Old Town TemeculaHedstrom 54-33751BX-1P 26 in. Giant Knobby Ball - Purple (Google Affiliate Ad)