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Stuart Johnson, Deseret News
Travis Hadley, right, uses balloons to make the pelvis section of a T-Rex, while Jeremy Telford works on another part of the dinosaur.

LEHI — How do you put together a life-size T-Rex made of more than 2,000 light brown balloons?

Very, very carefully and a section at a time.

"We're building it in 4-to-5 foot pieces and assembling it on Saturday," said Jeremy Telford, who is known in Utah Valley as "The Balloon Guy," usually available for parties and events.

Telford and his team: his wife Kristin, Timothy and Travis Hadley, Justin James, Brendan Rowlands, Heather Jensen and a student paleontologist from Brigham Young University, Andrew Stanton, are creating the balloon display for Thanksgiving Point's dinosaur museum birthday party.

"It's more work than I anticipated and I knew it would be a lot of work," Telford said. "We're averaging 8-12 hour days plus I'm getting up in the mornings to fill balloons."

Telford is donating his time, skills and the balloons because he's excited to be working on such a big and unusual project.

"This will be probably the most accurate dinosaur balloon display ever built," Telford said.

It's taking an enormous amount of balloon twisting plus the tedious work of filling each balloon with Hyfloat so the display will stay up and inflated for the entire birthday week.

"I did a test of this beforehand," Telford said. "I believe it'll be up and looking good all week."

Telford said the T-Rex is being built to specific measurements so it will accurately depict a real-life T-Rex from the skull to the tailbones.

"We've mostly worked on the spine so far," Telford said.

"The ribs should be easy. They're all short, little balloons. My guess is the skull and the ankle bones will be the most challenging parts."

He figures the final product will include at least 2,500 balloons.

He also knows a good deal more about a Tyrannosaurus Rex than he did before he started the project.

"I know the names of all the parts now," he said.

Activities for the birthday week include a daily tree frog throw, face painting, exploring the snake pit and a scavenger-adventure hunt.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, children can make Jurassic dino hats, bug-eyed blowfish and dinosaurs.

On Tuesday and Thursday, make a pterosaur, paint a sea shell and find out about fossils.

Children need to sign up for each day's activity.

If you go . . .

What: Dinosaur Museum's 8th birthday party

Where: Museum of Ancient Life, Thanksgiving Point

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., July 7-11

Cost: $10/$8 children (3-12)

Phone: 768-2300

Web: www.thanksgivingpoint.com

E-mail: [email protected]