Two-time Guinness World Record holder Larry Moss, Kelly Cheatle and dozens of artists and volunteers will return to the Sibley Building for another magical Airigami adventure. This year's theme is "Journey on the Genesee." The five-story balloon exhibit will include a giant waterfall and river that flows indoors along with a valley with animals and springtime depictions of plants.
More than 40,000 balloons (equivalent to about 200 to 250 pounds) will be used to transform the Sibley Building atrium into the great outdoors. "Our largest project for many years has been the one we do here in town," Moss says. "To be able to direct its focus on the nature and beauty of our region is a special thing. We are using natural, compostable latex balloons. It's great to be able to produce something on the scale that we do that leaves as little impact on the environment as imaginable."
Moss, Airigami's founder and creative director, is no stranger to ambitious, massive projects, and is considered to be the world's greatest balloon artist. The Brighton resident's portfolio includes the first piloted latex balloon sculpture, The Fantastic Flying Octopus, and several Balloon Manors — including slightly haunted houses, enormous representations of fairy tales, and a depiction of a wrecked sailing ship above the lost continent of Atlantis. Last year's event, The Amazing Air-Filled Undersea Adventure, drew more than 30,000 visitors to the Sibley Building downtown.
"We're looking forward to using Journey on the Genesee as an educational opportunity," Moss says. "We're working with the YMCA of Greater Rochester and the Seneca Park Zoo Society with their missions of science education and conservation awareness. One of the things we're doing this year, working with the Y, is bringing in kids. They are playing an important part in completing the project."
Construction of Airigami Balloon Adventure: "Journey on the Genesee" is currently underway in the Sibley Building atrium (228 East Main Street) and will continue through Thursday, January 28, 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Construction is open to the public for viewing. The completed Airigami Balloon Adventure will be open Friday, January 29, at 10 a.m., through Sunday, February 7. Open daily 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., except for Sunday, February 7, which will be open 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free. An Airigami Balloon Adventure popping party will take place Sunday, February 7, 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and requires a ticket. For a schedule of other events or more information, visit airigamiadventure.com.