- Associated Press - Thursday, November 26, 2015

RAWLINS, Wyo. (AP) - A massive, green Apatosaurus retook to the skies of Manhattan Thursday, making its first appearance in four decades.

Dino, Sinclair Oil Corporation’s mascot, floated through New York City as part of Macy’s 89th annual Thanksgiving Parade.

Dino’s appearance in the world-renowned parade served as a celebratory kickoff to the company’s centennial anniversary in 2016 - which has Jack Barger, Sinclair’s vice president of marketing and supply, understandably excited.

“We are going to be celebrating our 100-year anniversary next year. Earlier this year, we were looking at ways to kick that off,” Barger said. “With our past history at the parade, we thought this was a reasonable idea to pursue. We approached the Macy’s folks and they were excited that we would come back.

“And we’re back,” he said.

Sinclair operates one of the largest refineries in the Rocky Mountain region in the Carbon County town of Sinclair, so named in 1943 after the company acquired the refinery.

Barger said the parade was a “great opportunity” to expose the brand. The Macy’s Parade draws millions of television viewers, while tens of thousands of parade enthusiasts line the city streets. Barger said Dino’s parade entry was certainly a “neat way to celebrate our dinosaur.”

Dino measures 72 feet long, 24 feet wide and 36 feet tall, close the actual size of an Apatosaurus. To get Dino’s color just right, 50 gallons of green paint were used.

Sinclair’s mascot first appeared in the 1963 Macy’s Parade. Dino remained a yearly fixture until 1976.

“We are delighted that our iconic Sinclair Dinosaur is returning to New York City and participating in the world-renowned Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” Ross Matthews, chairman and CEO of Utah-based Sinclair Oil Corporation, said in a statement. “With our upcoming centennial anniversary, we feel extremely fortunate to have such a timeless brand symbol that is loved by Americans of all ages.”

The quest to reintroduce Dino to the parade began in the spring, Barger said.

“We went through a process of designing the dinosaur, first in print, then as a 3D clay dinosaur,” he said. “We flew to New York to view the clay model, made a few changes and tweaked (Dino) to the way we liked it.”

In October, Barger said company officials flew to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to view the completed dinosaur. They were present for Dino’s inflation inside an indoor football arena in Vermillion, South Dakota.

Thursday’s parade isn’t a “one and done” for Dino and Sinclair. Barger said the company has agreed to a three-year Macy’s commitment. Dino will be boxed up and stored in the studio until the next parade or usage.

“There are very few companies that can boast 100 years of continued existence,” Barger said. “Our history is varied, but we’ve survived through 10 decades.”

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