“I’ve been making balloon animals on State Street for 20 years; my favorite thing to make is a giant poodle,” said Juan Barron, while sitting outside of Paseo Nuevo with his balloon stand. Barron, owner of Montecito Balloon Art, makes decorations for parties and large events as well as attends balloon-art conferences all over the country. Along with making a living through balloons, Barron also donates his work to schools, hospitals, and other organizations. “I never charge for the balloons when I’m on this street; I accept donations but want to give them away to the kids,” he said.
“I moved here three months ago and haven’t gotten out to meet people or do much, so I decided to come to the kite festival,” said Victoria Matthews, originally from Northern California, as she showed off her kite-flying skills at the Santa Barbara Kite Festival at SBCC. “I think I just launched it at the right time. I’ve never actually flown a kite before or been to a kite festival!” she said about her beginner’s luck.