It was definitely a shocker to see this announcement on my Facebook feed yesterday.

While Balloons, Etc. is not going out of business, they have announced that they are dropping one of the biggest "etceteras" they are known for. Anyone who ever needed a Halloween costume or one for any other occasion knew this was the place to go. In fact, as their Facebook page states:

Eastern Iowa's ONLY Year-Round Costume Shop is Your LOCAL Halloween Headquarters!

The store has been in business since 2004, starting as a Balloon Shop on Center Point Road NE.


The Center Point Rd  location was flooded in 2008 but rebuilt and reopened until moving to 420 2nd Avenue SE. Wanting to keep a costume shop as part of the Cedar Rapids Community, costumes were added in 2011 when the business became Balloons, Etc & The Costume Emporium. Owners Jacob and Kimberly Cowger perform as Sparkles and Sprinkles The Clowns and Professional Balloon Twisters known as the Balloon Buffoons.

Jacob & Kimberly, who've also played Santa & Mrs. Claus, and other famous celebratory couples depending on the time of year, also released this statement:

Without a doubt, my best costume was last Halloween, when my co-workers and I dressed up as "cereal mascots" Can you guess who I was?

via Michelle Slick
via Michelle Slick

I am, admittedly, not a big Halloween person, but I knew I had to nail this one, and I would never have known where to begin without the help of the folks at Balloons, Etc.  If it's true that they are short-staffed, we certainly understand the motive for Jacob & Kimberly to want to take a step back and give themselves a breather.

The press release goes on to say that "this decision is in response to unsuccessful efforts in finding adequate staff. Rental costumes take an extreme amount of time, effort, and space to maintain. The business will remain open to supply the Community with Balloons, Makeup, Wigs, Masks, Costume Accessories, and Costumes for Purchase. At this time select Christmas and Easter Bunny rental costumes will NOT be for sale."

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Here's hoping those remaining aspects of their business pick up and remain successful, but Halloween and the holidays might never be the same!

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