Making my mark at the Mercy Home St. Patrick’s Day Party.

I was entertaining with balloons at the Mercy Home for Boys & Girls St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The crowd size for this event reached 1,500-2,000 people. Lucky for me, I wasn’t the only balloon twister performing that day. There were four balloon artists and four face painters.

The start was slow because of the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade. Most families were busy looking at the green Chicago River (dyed that way), watching, or participating in the parade. Now I don’t know who made the first one, but its popularity was growing, the balloon umbrella, which takes 5-7 balloons, depending on how you make it. But I hate doing umbrellas. To me, it’s just a bunch of balloons tied together, and that is it. Where’s the fun in that? So I decided to do the balloon ball.

Imagine this; on either side of the main door are two balloon entertainers standing side by side, each having a line that is 15-20 people deep. I start to make a balloon ball for one child, then another. The balloon artist next to me is slowly studying and asking questions on how to make it. He knows it’s only a matter of time before he’ll have to make it. Next thing you know, there are two balloon lines making balloon balls. I looked over to the other two balloon lines to see the other balloon artist was sending people to our side for balloon balls. By the end of the event, they were making balls.

You may ask why the balloon ball? From years of these types of events, I have learned that if you make something a child can play with, it will distract them from coming back into the balloon line.

It worked; many people thanked me for the balloon ball because the kids were playing with each other and the parents, having impromptu volleyball games. This kept the kids close to the family and kept mom and dad out of the long balloon lines; whoever entertains there next year better know how to do the balloon ball, because somebody is going to ask for it and look out, your going to make a lot of them.

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