New Year’s Eve with The Fun Company

New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest celebratory nights of the year all over the world. Although the time zones change all over the world, it is one time during the year when a most of the world stops to celebrate the first minute of a brand new year. A lot of cities across the United States hold First Night celebrations, which are alcohol-free family friendly events that focus on music, the arts and local culture throughout the evening, all the way up until midnight.

This year, the City of Fullerton in California, is holding its annual alcohol-free celebration of the arts for the whole family on New Year’s Eve. First Night Fullerton includes a lot of very fun events and activities for young and old alike. According to Fullerton’s website:

“The event is FREE and includes a full line-up of live entertainment, children’s activities, inflatable activities, hybrid ice skating, roaming entertainment, food vendors, art galleries, and more. The event primarily takes place at varying locations between Harbor Blvd. on the west and Pomona Ave. on the east in historic downtown Fullerton.

Special activities for kids’ include: face painting, balloon art, Bungee Run, Obstacle Course, Robo Surf, Castle Bounce House, Gladiator Joust, Pirate Ship Bounce House, and Slide. Activities and ride prices range from $2.00 – $7.00 per person. Prices may vary for other vendor activities.”

Free parking is available throughout the city so that you and your family can hang out and have a great time:

– The Plummer Parking Structure – located at the S/W corner of Lemon and Chapman Ave.
– All City parking lots WEST of Harbor Blvd. – enter from Commonwealth Ave.
– The Transportation Center lots and parking structure located at the S/E corner of Harbor Blvd. and Commonwealth Ave.
– Fullerton College (Parking lots located off of Lemon and Chapman Avenues)

Of course, the Fun Company will be there with the activities, inflatable or otherwise. For more information, visit the City of Fullerton website!

Town Official Want Santa Taken Down

We all know the story of A Christmas Carol, where Scrooge is down on anything Christmas-related until he sees the error of his ways and then learns to embrace everything about Christmas. I bring up Scrooge because that’s precisely what town officials in Capistrano Beach, California, are being this holiday season. They are a bunch of Scrooges. According to a story from the Capistrano Dispatch, a local business has been ordered to take down its inflatable Santa because it breaks local statutes:

“A city code-enforcement officer issued a notice of violation to the Buy My Bikes shop on Camino Capistrano because the bike shop decorated the front of the store with a 12-foot inflatable Santa Claus. Jim Curwood, who has owned the shop for 32 years, said he initially thought the notice was a joke, until a follow up “notice of violation” arrived. The city’s sign code doesn’t allow businesses to use inflatables-although they are visible all over town.”

It’s one thing for a town to ban inflatables, but I think this is a bit much. After all, it is Christmas time and it’s an inflatable Santa. Who doesn’t love Santa Claus? Curwood is thankfully not letting the violation get to him and even has the support of some Capistrano Beach citizens:

“Curwood said he wasn’t offended by the effort. He and the city have jousted several times over the years, whether it’s about his “Buy My Bikes” truck or how much he paints his windows. He admitted the flap brought him some publicity and maybe a few new customers in a tough economy.

Curwood said he will leave the Santa up through the season. About 10 people have called, he said, and offered to pay the $100 fine.”

That’s what I like to call excellent Christmas spirit!

Inflatable Roof Collapses on Football Stadium

Inflatables have many uses, as we’ve seen here in this blog. People have used them to protest (the inflatable rat) and others have used them strategically (inflatable tanks), but primarily we use inflatables for fun. The best examples of this are bounce houses, obviously! However, inflatables haven’t always worked out for the best, which was proven this weekend at the Minneapolis Metrodome, the stadium where the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Twins play.

As it goes, the inflated roof was designed to stay inflated to keep the two teams protected from the harsh weather that plagues Minnesota in the winter. Also, it has the ability to keep other types of precipitation out, like snow and rain. At least it did.

A recent snow storm across the Midwest dumped more than 2 feet of snow in areas, causing limited visibility and near blinding blizzard conditions, according to Mail Online. This storm also came with consequences for the Metrodome’s Teflon-coated fiberglass inflated roof. It collapsed.

“The giant inflatable roof above the Minneapolis Metrodome collapsed yesterday under the weight of a massive snowstorm that swept across the upper Midwest. The 580,000lbs roof, which is made of Teflon-coated fibreglass, fell in just hours before Minnesota Vikings were due to play the New York Giants. No one was hurt but the dramatic incident – captured on video – forced the National Football League to shift the game to Monday night at Detroit’s Ford Field.”

There were other, more serious implications of the storm, including the deaths of 4 people and multi-car pileups on the local highways. Thankfully, no one was injured at the Metrodome when the collapse occurred. That would have been potentially deadly, as hundreds of gallons of water and snow crashed through the roof.

Weird Holiday Inflatables

When I was younger, my family and I would take long car trips during Christmas time. These trips weren’t exclusively to family destinations like Grandma’s house, but to neighborhoods that were well known for having elaborate Christmas displays. There were huge houses with lights lining the perimeter of the structure and smaller homes with a yard filled to the brim with fun plastic Santas, sleighs and reindeer. One thing we didn’t see when I was a kid was the holiday inflatables that are easily purchased nowadays.

This is not to say anything bad about this type of decoration however – in fact, they add a new dimension to the art of Christmas decorating. Keeping this in mind, there are a number of holiday inflatables that don’t really make a lot of sense. In general they are actually a little weird. The Huffington Post has a whole list of these inflatables and here are a few of my favorites:

Gingerbread Oven – I’m pretty sure that if I were being cooked in an oven I wouldn’t be too happy about it. Look at the smiles on these cookies faces!

Dora the Explorer Santa – This is particularly egregious. There is no way that a Nickelodeon cartoon character could be Santa Claus. Well, I guess Spongebob could do it, but he’s way cooler than Dora.

Santa’s Tropical Island – Why would Santa bring a Penguin to an island paradise? Everyone knows that penguins like the cold. And I certainly don’t think that a tropical bird and a penguin would be fast friends.

slide 14408 199430 largeSteamroller Reindeer – I don’t even understand this one on a basic decency level. Sure, “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” is a popular and catchy song, but a reindeer running an elderly woman over with a steamroller. C’mon guys – how far is too far? You have your answer right here.

Holiday Inflatables Boost Sales

A few weeks ago, I wrote about those wonderful Christmas themed inflatables that everyone seems to have in their yards year after year. These inflatables, along with nicely strung lights and trimmed walkways can turn any house into a beautiful winter wonderland. One question is begging to be asked however – with the economy in such dire straits, are people still buying the awesome inflatable decorations that come out each year?

Apparently, they are and in doing so, are truly making it a wonderful winter season for many retailers. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader out of Kentucky, retailers like Home Depot are seeing huge sales of outdoor winter décor:

“Home Depot says that sales of holiday decor, which includes yard art, have gone up 217 percent since 2004…though smaller items can be had for $20 or $30, the larger items can hit $1,000 or more. Even in these economic times, price does not seem to be an issue.”

Even smaller retailers in Raleigh, North Carolina, are seeing huge sales regardless of the tough economic climate:

“At The Holiday Light Store in Raleigh, sales are up 30 percent to 40 percent over the past three years. ‘Our average customer is a fanatic,’ said Lin Honeycutt, who owns the shop with his wife, Cindy. ‘They don’t care how much it costs. … The economy, as far as we’re concerned, doesn’t have any effect on them.’ Anything that features animation is hot this year, Honeycutt said. This year’s hot sellers include an elf who is watering a garden of candy canes, which appear to grow, and a Santa that seems to have gotten stuck in a chimney and is kicking his legs to get out ($255 and $220, respectively).”

The article also says that some believe the sales of these inflatables go up because people are looking for ways to make their homes as unique as possible. Whatever the reason, people certainly do love inflatable holiday decorations. How about you? Are you planning on decorating your home this year?