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by Sheena Beaverson
David Grist Memorial Award
The David Grist Memorial Award was presented to BalloonHQ co-owners Mark Balzer, Sheena Beaverson, and Larry Moss for "Inspriration, Innovation, Friendship and Joy "

Twist and Shout 2006

Ug. I've been home for almost 2 days and I still need a nap. As usual, a lot happened at Twist and Shout this year. Personally, my favorite part of the scheduled festivities was the film festival. What surprised me most was the fact that they were real films, rather than merely goofy projects. I sat in the audience thanking anything holy that I had missed the submission deadline before I re-discovered my balloon-centric 2002 Survivor audition tape in the back of a closet. I could watch it all again, perhaps Todd and Don should re-run the whole slate of films at Summer Balloon Camp or Balloon Manor.

With the convention located in the midwest for the first time, Twist and Shout saw record attendance from representatives of both Betallic and Pioneer. I know that they were literally blown away from everything they saw and experienced. Likewise, attendees were blown away by the generosity of both companies in providing Qualatex and Betallatex balloons for jamming.

Oswald Loewy of Sempertex (makers of the Betallatex balloons) was overwhelmed by the response to his presentation on how balloons are made. Betallic showcased a new chocolate colored balloon at the awards banquet.

Ted and Betty Vlamis of Pioneer brought their grand-daughter along. She's also a twister, and is seen as the best route to getting color requests to the right people. The phrase 'brown 260' was whispered in her ear so many times that they were promised to the balloon community by Ted during his speech. He also stated his disbelief in the accuracy of the printed event schedule; classes really did occur at 11pm on Friday night.

All balloon entertainers will reap great benefits in the long run, from the full-force presence of balloon manufacturers for the first time. Thanks to Patty and Royal for locating Twist and Shout 2006 in St. Louis!

On winning a 'Gristy'

Larry and I have often joked to each other that we could easily re-cycle posts from past balloon conventions without anyone really noticing. For this reason, I always try to add a bit of current color to the usual posts about "first photos are up," "the stage performances were amazing," "sorry, we're running a bit behind" and "here are the winners."

One such post that has always stuck in my mind is from IBAC on 6 Mar 2002. The fun part of that announcement was the last paragraph:

It looks like the teams are enjoying the competition... the UK team led by David Grist is having fun at least, they took a big break in the bar last night.

David came to find me later that day, berating me for making that post. It seems his wife had called him from England soon after it went online and lovingly instruceted to him stay out of the pub and to get back to work! David and I shared a great giggle together over that one every convention after that one.

We'd like to thank Royal and Patty for awarding Mark, Larry, and myself this lovely award.

Aliens Landing.
(Randy is in black costume in the
middle of these dancing puppets)

Featured artist portfolio: Randy and Robin Parker

Randy and Robin Parker are the owners of Parker Originals Entertainment in Baton Rouge, Louisiana USA. Their amazing show combines balloons, magic, music and comedy. Randy's stage performance won Third Place at Twist and Shout, 2006.

See Randy and Robin Parker's BHQ Portfolio.

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