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SALT LAKE CITY — Sinclair Oil Corp. is taking its centennial celebration on a cross-country road trip, with the 90th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York as its final destination.
"We've had a big year, beginning with our return to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade last year," said Ross Matthews, chairman and CEO of Sinclair Oil. "The past 12 months have been filled with celebrating our history and thanking the many people who have helped us stand the test of time: our customers, station owners, distributors and employees. We are excited about continuing to fuel America's journeys, bringing Sinclair to many more people in the years to come."
In 1916, Harry F. Sinclair formed Sinclair Oil from the assets of 11 small petroleum companies. By the late 1920s, it was the seventh largest oil company in the United States. Today, Sinclair is among the oldest continuous names in the oil business, and Dino, the green dinosaur, is one of the most recognized icons in America.
Since Nov. 10, Sinclair team members have been driving Dino across the United States in full display. The 75-pound, 12-foot-long, 3-foot-wide, 6-foot-tall fiberglass likeness of Dino, the Apatosaurus, is hard to miss.
During the journey, fans are encouraged to look for Dino and join in the festivities at participating Sinclair stations. Visitors have an opportunity to take selfies with Dino and enter to win the drawing for a free trip to New York in 2017.
Random selections of selfie photos with Dino will appear on the Sony digital screen in Times Square on Thanksgiving Day.
"Dino's Sinclair escorts will tweet throughout the journey using #DINO2NYC as they see our friends on the road," Matthews said. "Be sure to drive alongside and honk and wave."
Tour stops to date have included Fresno, Calif.; Las Vegas; South Jordan, Utah; Cheyenne, Wyo.; and Lincoln, Neb.
Remaining appearances will be in Kansas City, Mo. (Nov. 18); Henderson, Ky. (Nov. 19); Budd Lake, N.J. (No. 21), ending with the parade in New York on Thanksgiving Day.
More than 3.5 million people in New York and more than 50 million television viewers are expected to watch the legendary Sinclair Dino soar over the city's streets. Dino, a fan favorite since the late 1960s and 1970s, is the only life-size balloon in the parade. This year marks his 15th appearance.
Other Dino balloon fun facts include:
- Measuring 72 feet long, 24 feet wide and 36 feet tall, the balloon is the actual size of an Apatosaurus.
- The Dino balloon requires approximately 70 balloon handlers to fly him down the 2.5-mile route.
- To give Dino his unique color, 50 gallons of green paint were used.
- Sinclair Oil's Dino first appeared in the 1963 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and remained a fan favorite every year until 1976.
- In 1975, the Sinclair dinosaur balloon was so popular, he became an honorary member of The Museum of Natural History.