In these difficult financial times there is one fun-filled festival coming to town which promises to make you smile about inflation.
This March Dallas plays host to a puffed-up parade of celebrities, fairytale characters and animals of all sizes at the 2012 World Balloon Convention.
Balloon experts from around the world will be descending on the Sheraton Dallas Hotel with creations big and small for a show that is guaranteed to blow your mind.
The convention culminates in the Festival of Balloons, on March 25, an event open to the paying public which showcases the spectacular creative talents of some of the convention attendees.
The convention returns to Dallas two years after its successful debut, during which more than 400,000 balloons were used to create ingenious inflatable masterpieces, including dioramas featuring medieval knights, dogs riding motorcycles and samurais fighting tigers.
This year you can expect even grander and more colourful spectacle created by a host of international contributors visiting Texas.
The convention includes a series of workshops for balloon artists, from amateur hobbyists to professional, to help them learn exciting new balloon techniques. Organisers say they aim to build confidence and passion for balloons as a career, art form, and medium for social expression, decoration, and entertainment.
The Sheraton Dallas Hotel is just a nine-minute drive from the city centre, just off Live Oak Street. Tickets for the Festival of Balloons can be bought on the door or in advance online here.
Photo courtesy of Pioneer® Balloon Company.