Balloons bloom around town

Tami Topper Schroeder, owner of Funny Faces Family Entertainment, has spent the past few weeks of the quarantine bringing color and cheer to Verona with balloon sculptures.

After creating balloon flowers, beanstalks, and even an ice cream cone in front of her house for two weeks, the fun grew beyond her yard and spread across downtown Verona over Easter weekend.

Schroeder crafted displays from over 50 balloons, which she then hung at businesses including Verona Vision Care, the Purple Goose, Culver’s, Icki Sticki, Toot and Kate’s Wine Bar and the Verona Chamber of Commerce.

Balloons also blossomed from the poles of street lamps along the sidewalks between the businesses.

Cards affixed to the displays reminded passers-by to “spread joy, not germs” and “be safe, be kind.”

Schroeder has spent most of her life sculpting balloons and entertaining families. After spending a summer as a balloon sculptor in Wisconsin Dells, she was accepted into the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown College in 1995 and toured with the circus in 1996.

She founded Funny Faces Family Entertainment after her tour with the circus. Her work typically consists of commissions for birthday parties.

Schroeder plans to compost the deflated balloons. She said latex is a biodegradable natural substance that breaks down at about the same rate as a leaf from an oak tree.

She said she has been overwhelmed by the positive response to the project.

“Thank you for the kind words, everyone. You fill my cup so I can pour it into other’s,” she wrote on Facebook.

Neal Patten, community reporter, can be contacted at neal.patten@wcinet.com.