One regular Easton corner is proving to be surprisingly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The corner of Westport Road and Bibbins Road is drawing a lot of attention due to the daily professional balloon sculpture creations displayed there by Patty Jurgielewicz, an Eastonite for 16 years.
Jurgielewicz operates Balloon Whimzy as a side business from her regular career as a vice president for The Sedona Group, a Norwalk-based asset management firm. She began by displaying a small sculpture in late March as a cheerful gesture in a less prominent location.
As the popularity grew, so did the sculptures and the display’s location migrated to its current, more visible spot on Route 136 on March 28. With the support of her husband, Dave, and their children, Andrew, 22, and and Dana, 18, Jurgielewicz has created a new display every night since, rain or shine.
Many make a point to walk or drive by her display daily, and it is frequently showcased on social media by the Easton Police Department and Easton EMS.
The public is grateful for the fun distraction that “The Balloon Lady,” as some now call her, provides. Jurgielewicz has received notes, gifts and mementos left at her sculptures.
Jurgielewicz hopes to continue treating all passers-by to her displays, but sourcing materials is becoming more of a challenge. “Warehouses have minimal people working because it is considered a non-essential business and all of the balloon artists are overwhelmed with work because of all the drive-by parades and the fact that people want to still celebrate birthdays and milestones,” she explains.
Fans delight to see what the new theme of the day will be, with past works including Spiderman, Earth Day, The Cat in the Hat, popcorn, and a large heart to honor helpers during the pandemic.
“My favorite was probably the ice cream cone,” she said. “I had been wanting to try that for some time and I finally did. I like the fact that it was so big and so realistic. And who doesn’t love ice cream?!”