Walk-on-water balls, hamster balls, aquaspheres … whatever you call them, call them crazy fun.
A new addition to Tour de Terrace this year is an activity that puts youngsters inside large, inflated plastic balls that float in a 10-foot- square pool. For $8, kids get five to seven minutes in the attraction, more than enough time to see them get tired out from the running, rolling and falling that takes place inside the clear balls.
The Walk-on-Water Balls was brought to the festival by Randy Giddens, who already is quite familiar with the Mountlake Terrace event. Giddens has been bringing food booths to Tour de Terrace for six years, with four in his fold for this year’s festival. With help from his wife Dee and a number of staff members, Giddens operates the Great American Bar-B-Que, Hand Dipped Ice Cream, Aussie’s Onion Burst and Expresso booths set up side-by-side on the Tour de Terrace grounds.
Giddens saw the Walk-on-Water Balls at an event in Anacortes and recently bought his package of inflatable balls and pools. “We just got them a week ago from China,” Giddens said. Tour de Terrace is the first event where he has put these balls and pool to use.
After a participant steps into a deflated ball, it is filled with air with a leaf blower. Once inflated, the ball is sealed shut with a zipper and Velcro enclosure, then is rolled over the edge of the pool and onto the water surface. Giddens will place as many as five balls in the pool at a time.
And what do kids say when they finally emerge from plastic ball when finished? Actually, very little; most seemed exhausted, but did have big smiles on their tired faces.
— Story and photos by Doug Petrowski