The Story Behind the Random Balloon Animals Scattered Around Fairhaven
If you've noticed a bunch of balloon animals randomly hanging on trees around Fairhaven, you're not alone.
The man behind them, it turns out, is New Bedford native Douglas Langevin.
Langevin said he's gone through some rough patches but the art of crafting balloon animals has brought him peace.
"I’m a commercial fisherman who was born and raised in New Bedford and have fished half my life," Langevin said. "I had a great time doing it and I loved everything about it."
Langevin's mother passed away from Covid complications in 2020. Balloon animals helped him cope.
"I was hanging out at a bar one night and a friend of mine brought a bunch of balloons in and let me give it a try," he said. "I was terrible at first, but I never gave up."
Anyone who has been to New Bedford's Coggeshall Street McDonald's might recognize Langevin as The Balloon Man. He worked there for a short time, but long enough for locals to remember him for his creations.
"Making balloon animals makes my day," Langevin said. "Laughter is the best medicine, and when I see people go by when I’m making them, their smiles make my day. It makes life worth living."
Langevin said he most enjoys making kites, butterflies and seagulls, even though they're difficult.
"It takes practice, but when it comes out just right, it’s pure satisfaction," Langevin said. "It may sound weird, but it brings me tears of joy. It’s all worth it."
Do what makes you happy.
Langevin said he promises to clean up his balloons. He just wants to make people's day in the meantime -- as much as they make his.