The Sanders family balloon artists have been twisting Japanese-themed balloons at the Japanese Festival for the last seven years. The balloon art is inspired by Japanese themes and icons. Their most popular sculpture by far is the giant octopus, known as tako. The octopus is a very common ingredient in Japanese cuisine. A traditional method of catching octopus in japan is by the use of a tako tsubo. Come visit the balloon artists station to see an octopus balloon hiding in a tsubo.

The artists have several other balloon designs inspired by Japanese culture and folklore. They have a display that features photos of the inspiration for each balloon and includes a description as well as the name of the balloon in Japanese (hiragana and katakana). The balloon artists are also very pleased to be able to offer authentic Japanese water yo-yos at the festival.

These are very traditional Japanese toy balloons and have been found at summer festivals (matsuri) in Japan for as long as balloons have been made.

Daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Kemper Center for Home Gardening; $ minimal charge