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    Posted March 30, 2014 by

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    Festival of Balloons Brings Universal Language Of Happiness To Denver


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     VickyW1 told me, 'I witnessed amazing balloon art sculptures all created by balloon artists from around the world. There were balloon artists creating animals for kids in two different demonstration areas and an "interactive" area where parents could photograph their kids in a balloon car or behind a balloon wedding dress and tuxedo. The most interesting sculpture for me was the black and gold dress. I learned that the gold flowers, which don't look like balloons at all, are actually balloons with wire inside stretched into a flower shape.'
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    Top balloon artists from 53 countries participated in the Festival of Balloons in Denver, Colorado on Sunday, March 30, 2014 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. The festival, sponsored by Pioneer Balloon Company, is part of the third World Balloon Convention, held every two years. The convention, which began on Wednesday, culminated with the Festival of Balloons where over 200 balloon art competition pieces were on display featuring everything from tabletop designs, balloon fashions and deliverable sculptures to large sculptures almost as big as a Baker District Bungalow.

    This is a whole new level of balloon art, not just twisting together a few balloons to form a puppy or a sword at kid's birthday parties. The balloon artists were allowed only 27 hours to complete their displays, from 9am on Tuesday to noon on Wednesday. "Balloons are the universal language of happiness.", said Steven Shippey with Qualatex Balloons, who assisted with balloon illustrations.

    Allison Dunning, certified balloon artist (CBA) and co-owner of Merry Makers & Decorators LLC based in Greeley, created a balloon sculpture featuring snow skiing and road racing (cycling) to highlight Colorado tourism. "My goal was to show all that Colorado has to offer. I think it tells the story I wanted it to tell.", said Dunning. Balloons are blown up digitally for these competitions, two or more at a time, instead of the old-fashioned way, one-by-one by humans with strong lungs. Dunning felt like she had the home-field advantage in this competition living in Colorado. "We own our equipment, others have to use what's here. The industry has standards. Everyone had the same amount of time, we had two people, me and my partner, other teams had 25-27 people."

    One massive sculpture called, "A Mother's Love", by balloon artist, Dennis Scott, owner of Mister D Balloon Twisting & Décor in Arlington Heights, IL, featured a mother Bengal tiger and her cub in their "natural" habitat. 15,000 balloons were used to created the sculpture, with vines crocheted by hand.

    This is the only stop for the convention in Denver. The next World Balloon Convention and Festival of Balloons will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2016.
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