Tampa Artist Makes Global Impact with Balloons

From: YTE Events and Balloon Decor
Published: Tue Aug 15 2017

Local artist was invited to Ballooniversity where he spent two full days working with over 200 artists to create a massive balloon installation consisting of 250,000 balloons in a 40,000 square foot space at the Classic Center in Athens, GA. The large-scale build was themed around the African wildlife and helped to raise funds for The Balloon Rhino Project, the first ever worldwide fund-raising collaboration by the balloon industry.

The Balloon Rhino Project is a network of professional balloon decorators from all over the world joining hands to raise funds and awareness in support of the Pilanesberg Rhinos. Starting on the 11th of Aug, 2016, this build represented a full year of the balloon industry working together on the project.

"Only the best balloon decorators get to attend Ballooniversity and it was an honor to be invited. The fact that I get to work with some of my balloon family from around the world is only a plus." Fudge says.

The convention takes place over 4 days. Starting with 2 days of intensive workshop, 200 attendees knock out much of the balloon installation. The last two days consist of classes taught by industry leaders and instructors from around the world. The convention sees approximately 800 unique guests over 4 days. The instructors represent artists from 11 different countries and have attendees from just as many places from around the world.

On the final gala night, the impact of the installation began before entering the event space with safari themed balloon backdrops, African themed music, and photo taking spots. As you entered the venue, you walk through a tunnel of greenery and floral arrangements made completely out of balloons, taking your mind out of the convention center and into the jungles of Africa.

Once you enter the event space, you immediately get a shock and a wow from the stage directly ahead of you and nearly 200 feet away. On either side are gigantic mountains of balloons with waterfalls and wade pools. The stage is backed by trees native to the plains of Africa and you even see giraffes sticking their heads from behind the backdrops. On the right of you are gazelles along the wall, a rhino by the buffet table, and crocodiles helping guide you to your seats. On the left are zebras, an elephant, and along the center of the left wall sits a massive silhouette of a safari scene made of over 6,500 balloons. Above you hangs a jungle canopy, complete with monkeys playing on vines and jumping around the event. The entire room is surrounded in balloons.

Our local artist, Jonathan Fudge from YTE Events and Balloon Decor, helped put together the ceiling décor, had a large part in creating the gazelles throughout the event, and helped with many of the other projects as well. Chris Renteria, another artist from YTE Events and Balloon Décor, also helped with the entrance tunnel, building the trees around the event, and making flowers for the canopy. They both attended classes for the main portion of the event and have returned with knowledge and ability to tackle the most up to date balloon trends worldwide.

For more information, please feel free to check out the sites below:
The Balloon Rhino Project-
YTE Events and Balloon Décor of Tampa, Florida

Please feel free to post contact information for YTE Events and Balloon Décor

Jonathan Fudge
Established by event planner and entertainer Jonathan Fudge, YTE Events and Balloon Decor (formally Your Total Entertainment and Affairs in the Air Balloon Decorating, respectively) has been Tampa’s premier source for family friendly entertainment for nearly 14 years. Whether clients seek a thrilling aerialist, traditional henna artist or a roving costumed character, YTE Events has the talent pool to make any event spectacular.

The balloon decor division was added in 2014 to provide balloon arches, stage backdrops, balloon bouquets and other specialty balloon decor. YTE Balloon Decor averages over 50 events per month, serving both greater Tampa Bay and Orlando.
With the belief that it takes knowledge to nurture talent, Mr. Fudge established an educational YouTube channel for balloon artists, which has received over 4.5 million views to date. Lauded by his peers, he has taught at seven international balloon art conventions. Mr. Fudge and the YTE crew also attend multiple entertainment industry educational events annually. National television appearances by Mr. Fudge include features on The Late Show with David Letterman and America’s Got Talent, Season 10. He has also been profiled on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.


Jonathan Fudge
Owner, YTE Events and Balloon Décor
Company: YTE Events and Balloon Decor
Contact Name: Jonathan Fudge
Contact Email: fudge@YTEevents.com
Contact Phone: 8132459441

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