BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Preparations for the NYC Pride March proceeded apace Saturday in Berkeley Heights, as volunteers from all over the country inflated balloons - 15,000 of them - and turned them into letters, creatures, and sculptures.

The adventure began Friday evening when balloon artists under the direction of Chris Tribuna owner of Balloon Design Studio gathered in the basement of Sadal Wine Cellar on Springfield Avenue to begin creating the various elements for their entry in the  NYC Pride March today. 

 Flamingos made up of solid colors will be a big part of this year’s presentation.  A few escaped and scampered around the downtown, which created quite a stir, but they were soon rounded up and returned to the staging grounds.

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Volunteers from Chicago, Connecticut, Florida and the area inflated, hand tied and created the various elements of the program using rainbow-colored balloons of all sizes and shapes. By early afternoon Saturday, one of the rooms was almost completely filled with balloons. Once all the elements are made, they will be taken to New York in two 15-foot trucks. Waiting for them to arrive will be 75 volunteers, who will put on their ballloon costumes, or grab their letter, or sculpture and, when the time comes, march through the streets of New York before an estimated crowd of millions.

The Pride March will step off at noon at Fifth Avenue and 26th Street. The parade will be broadcast by ABC from noon to 4 p.m. and it will also be streamed live on YouTube.