“The Balloon Lady,” also known as Donna Pruett, performed to full capacity audiences at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Thursday at the King Public Library.
Pruett entertained kids in attendance with a flamboyant and attention grabbing mixture of singing, balloon twisting and magic tricks, focusing on the power of imagination.
Pruett explained to the audience that imagination is crucial when reading books, noting that reading is an active endeavor of exploration.
“I have one of those imaginations that’s off the chart,” Pruett proclaimed. “Imagination is a great tool.”
The routine featured songs relating to the specific balloon creation that Pruett was working on, singing along to such songs as “Born to be Wild” and “We’re Alright for Now.”
One of the more elaborate creations that Pruett twisted was a balloon figure of herself, “The Balloon Lady.” Piece by piece, Pruett gave the figure a head, ears, arms, legs and shoes, drawing on the facial features with a magic marker.
Pruett later created a motorcycle for the balloon figure to ride on, singing “Born to be Wild,” while doing so.
Later in the show, Pruett crafted an elaborate camp site, including a campfire, guitar, marshmallows, a fishing rod and reel, a fish, an owl, and a toad.
Pruett joked that she had already kissed the toad and that it didn’t turn into a prince, advising the “ladies” to save their kisses.
The toad and the owl were both topped with nylon heads, with the balloons that Pruett actually twisted consisting of latex.
In between populating the campfire scene, Pruett entertained the audience with several magic tricks, with the magic words being “reading is fun.”
Pruett opened a book for one of the tricks, with fire coming off of the pages, joking that the book was a “hot read.”
One of the final balloon creations that Pruett twisted was an aluminum shooting star, encouraging the audience to make a wish and to dream big.
Pruett closed the show with a quote from Michael Jordan, commanding “Just do it,” in reference to chasing after dreams.
Following a show, the library held a drawing with each of the winners getting to take home one of the balloon creations that Pruett made during the show.
As the show went on, Pruett joked that the audience was the “amazing creeping audience,” due to the fact that all of the kids that sat on the ground next to the show slowly moved closer and closer to the front of the room.
Pruett said that she’s been twisting balloons for the past 34 years and is from the Boone area.
“I saw someone doing balloons and I just started doing it,” Pruett said of her start.
Pruett tours throughout the summers, performing at various libraries and will be performing at KingFest this year on October 1.
Aila Boyd can be reached at 276-233-6746.