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Just Buy Me a Blow Up

By Coleman Larkin |


Meet the East Kentuckians at the Top of the Holiday Inflatables Game


"Valentine's Day, Saint Patrick's Day, she does 'em all," brags Jeff Robinson of his wife, Pat, whose holiday displays of decorative inflatables have been the stuff of legend in East Kentucky for almost 20 years. Anytime there's anything worth celebrating on the calendar it's like a massive spaceship has touched down on Mud Creek, in Floyd County, spilling out a crew of glowing and wheezing aliens.

"I'd have to say Halloween is my favorite but Christmas is definitely the biggest," Pat says.

It's hard to imagine anyone doing it bigger. Pat's daughter, Trish, reckons her mom has amassed a collection of about 100 Christmas inflatables that cover every square foot of her yard.

Since her birthday is in December, all of her friends and family know exactly what to get her. "Just buy me a blowup," she tells them.

Aside from the ones she gets as gifts, Pat and Jeff maintain their expensive inflatable habit all on their own.  This season they dropped $700 on some new releases at Lowe's and $200 on a teddy bear as tall as their house. They figure it adds about an extra $125 to their electric bill.

"But we never did pay much attention to it," Jeff says. "The way I see it, if other people get some excitement and enjoyment out of it then that's all that matters."

And folks around East Kentucky certainly dig it. The Robinsons win radio decorating contests like it's their job. Nobody can touch them. People who visited their house when they were kids are now bringing their kids to admire the madness.

The only complaints they ever got came from the time they exploded a transformer and put the whole neighborhood out of power for a few days. But they've got that figured out now. Jeff has done some mountain-man rewiring and Pat knows just how many inflatables every extension cord can handle. They're working on getting power to the other side of the road so they can expand their blow up empire and realize their dream of building lighted arches up the whole holler.

We can't wait.

Cheers to you, Pat and Jeff. Keep crushing it for the Commonwealth.




By Coleman Larkin

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