A restaurant in Pratt, Woody's Bar and Grill, hosted local balloon artist Tonja Harrison and invited children in to enjoy her work on Tuesday, all in honor of International Clown Week (August 1-7).

Tuesday is traditionally ‘Kids Eat Free’ night at Woody’s Sports Bar and Grill at 418 South Main in Pratt, but this week the number of kids coming in with parents more than doubled as pub owners Jim and Shandra Woody celebrated International Clown Week (August 1-7). Local certified balloon artist Tonja Harrison was invited to work her magic, twisting balloons into a variety of animal and other shapes for the children.
“It was just fun,” said Shandra Woody,
Stationed at a table near the entrance of the establishment, Harrison entertained children and parents alike, as she fulfilled requests for balloon creations. She let each child choose from a list that included a variety of animals and other designs, and they also picked their favorite color.
Some of the favorite creations were wiener dogs, poodles and basset hounds. Kids could also request a cat, deer, sword, flower, giraffe, snake, swan and parrot on a swing, among other designs.
“The kids just kept rolling in! It was great,” Harrison said. “Several boys requested swords and they immediately wanted to have sword fights.”
In keeping with the theme of International Clown Week, each child received a red foam nose, provided by Woody’s, to wear home and many of the kids sported them before ever leaving the premises, adding a festive air to the occasion.
Amongst the throng of kids from toddlers-in-arms to grade school age were 8-year-old Paul Westfall and his two sisters, Molly, 6, and Valerie, 11, of Bonner Springs, in Pratt for a visit with grandparents Scott and Marla Stucky.
“It couldn’t have been better,” grandmother Marla said. “The kids loved their burgers and we always enjoy our meals at Woody’s. They especially loved the balloons.”
Harrison has been filling balloons with air and twisting them into popular shapes for about a dozen years, her skills perfected after taking a course to become certified.
“I took the course because I feel if I am going to do something, I need to be professional about it,”Harrison said.
In 2008 Harrison opened Balloons and More at 105 West 1st Street in Pratt to share her enthusiasm for party supplies and special event support.
International Clown Week is always celebrated August 1 - 7 as a time to give recognition to those funny clowns that make people laugh and smile. It is estimated that there are over 10,00 clowns in organized clown groups, and over 20,000 clowns world-wide. As a tribute to the first recognized group of organized clowns, clown groups often celebrate the week with special activities such as performing volunteer shows or having their local mayor declare the week as a city celebration to coincide with the national and international clown week.