KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Preparations are underway for the Big Balloon Build, happening Dec. 2-4 in Kansas City.

The international festival is an immersive experience with holiday-themed balloon art. Originally from the United Kingdom, this is only the second time the festival has been held in the United States.

“Literally a winter wonderland. You’re going to walk into this canopy of balloon trees, and it’s going to feel magical when you walk in,” balloon artist Allison Dunning said. “It’s blue and it’s going to feel like as if you were in a really deep forest.”

Visitors will be guided through the enchanted forest into a giant waterfall and bridge into Toy Town.

“You’ll be greeted by the likes of Hasbro characters, Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head, Mr. Monopoly, barrel of monkeys, glow worms. We’ve got a ton of characters for you,” co-host of the Big Balloon Build, Darren Huffman, said.

Eve Antonello is a balloon artist originally from Brazil. She said she’s excited to bring some holiday cheer to Kansas City through her art.

“When people come inside the room and see all this décor, all this amazing work, you see how the eyes sparkle,” Antonello said.

Money raised will benefit local nonprofits Operation Breakthrough and Troost Market Collective.

“It is incredible there. Those kids work so hard, and they just do so much good for our city,” Huffman said.

“It gives an opportunity for all of these balloon artists who are leaving their businesses, they’ve traveled from around the United States, around the world to come and work for the Big Balloon Build and make a difference through the joy of balloons, which is ultimately going to make a difference for the children of Operation Breakthrough,” Stuart Davis, director of the Big Balloon Build, said.

The materials used for the display are biodegradable and will be composted or remade into new art forms.

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