NEW YORK — If you’ve attended children’s celebrations in Staten Island, N.Y., over the past two decades, it’s likely you’ve come face-to-face with Tina Bellino; but you may not have a clue as to what she looks like.
Ms. Bellino, a highly regarded community activist and South Shore Rotarian, is better recognized as Bubbles the Clown. She embraced the alter ego 20 years ago upon launching her children’s entertainment business, Tina’s Costume Characters Inc.
“I didn’t expect to earn a living from being a clown,” Ms. Bellino said. “I put on the Bubbles outfit for the first time while I was in college, hoping to cover some of my expenses by entertaining at children’s birthday parties. But the kids fell in love with Bubbles, and I fell in love with their laughter. I’ve been hooked ever since.”
Through the years, Ms. Bellino antics have enthralled thousands of children, and her part-time gig has evolved into one of the most well-known children’s entertainment companies on the Island.
“With spring in the air, we’ve begun gearing up for birthday celebrations, block parties, corporate family events, picnics, parades, and more,” Ms. Bellino said.
In addition to Bubbles and a host of costumed characters to select from, Tina’s Costume Characters delights youngsters with amusements ranging from candy carts and popcorn stands to inflatable attractions, magicians, DJs, face painting, balloon animals, temporary tattoos, spin art, and more.
“Back in the early ’90s, I couldn’t imagine I would one day be entertaining the children of the children whose parties I began with,’ Ms. Bellino said. “It’s very special to see the reputation and trust I’ve established reach a second generation.”
Remarkably, no two kids’ parties are exactly the same. So, how does Ms. Bellino continue to stay on the cutting edge of kiddy entertainment?
“These days, I try out a lot of new ideas on my 2 1/2-year-old granddaughter. She’s my best critic.”
For additional information about Tina’s Costume Characters, Ms. Bellino may be reached at 718-317-1834.
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