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Balloon drop dribbles instead

The 100,000 balloons released from the rafters at the FleetCenter at the end of Senator John F. Kerry's acceptance speech last night apparently did not fall fast enough, prompting the convention producer to profanely complain in remarks that were inadvertently picked up by CNN and heard by millions of viewers.

The balloon drop was orchestrated by Maureen Curreri, owner of Boston Balloon Events of South Boston.

As Kerry finished his speech and the conventioneers exploded in applause, the red, white, and blue balloons were only trickling to the floor.

Don Mischer, executive producer of the convention, bemoaned the delay, saying at first, "Go balloons. Go balloons. More balloons. All balloons. All balloons. Come on guys, let's move it! . . . We need more balloons! . . . "

His remarks then grew more emphatic and profane, forcing the cable network to issue an apology to its viewers.

Reached last night, Curreri, who had worked for months to plan the elaborate drop, told the Globe: "We didn't have any problems."

In what was later cited as an omen of a doomed campaign, President Jimmy Carter waited in vain for balloons to rain on him at the 1980 Democratic convention.

BRYAN BENDERAND ROBERT GAVIN

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