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Ann Arbor balloon artist places first at international balloon convention

Carolynn Hayman wears her famous Conrad the Unicorn balloon costume at Ann Arbor's FestiFools parade on April 8, 2018. (Credit: Meredith Bruckner)
Carolynn Hayman wears her famous Conrad the Unicorn balloon costume at Ann Arbor's FestiFools parade on April 8, 2018. (Credit: Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR – Award-winning local balloon artist Carolynn Hayman, known internationally for her impressive, over-the-top balloon costumes, took home the top prize for balloon costumes at the Twist & Shout balloon convention on Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky.

Hayman’s winning costume -- a giant snail named “Scooter Cargo” or “S Cargo” -- wowed the audience on stage as it left a surprise “snail trail” down the runway made of recycled balloons.

“It was so much fun to wear this costume and showcase the newest reflex balloons that have just been released by Betallic Balloons in the past few months,” Hayman, the owner of POP! Designs & Creations, said in a statement. "Leaving behind a trail of balloons was a funny accent and a way to delight the crowd.”

This award follows Hayman’s first place finish last year at the same convention held in Chicago, where her winning costume was a two-person pinata which exploded on stage and threw candy into the crowd.

“It was a challenge to create another costume that could bring something new and different to the competition as well as adding a little twist to my performance,” Hayman said in a statement.

Now in its 20th year running, Twist & Shout is an international balloon convention which draws hundreds of artists from around the world. Prizes are given across multiple competitions and classes. It is Hayman’s tenth year attending the event.

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Hayman rose to fame when her balloon costume Conrad the Unicorn went viral on social media with more than 400 million views three years ago. She has appeared with the colorful Conrad on America’s Got Talent and the Harry Connick Jr. Show.

Conrad the Unicorn even has his own Facebook fan page.

INSIDERart named her one of the “Top Seven Artists Who Blew Our Mind in 2017” and Business Insider has featured her costumes in several videos.

Locally, she has been seen at the annual FestiFools parade on Main Street and has appeared on Local 4′s Live in the D.

To see more examples of her work, visit www.popdesignsandcreations.com.


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