While a "Baby Trump" balloon is expected to take flight in New Jersey next month as part of ongoing weekend protests against the president's policies, other inflatable "babies" are being temporarily adopted by interested organizations around the county, local organizers say.
The first of six Baby Trump balloons was inflated in Califon, New Jersey on Monday as part of a test flight. The balloons were purchased with $24,000 raised through a GoFundMe campaign organized by Jim Girvan, chair of the Branchburg Democratic Party and founder of the People's Motorcade, a group that protests Trump in Bedminster when the president is at his golf club there, as well as fellow activist Didier Jimenez-Castro, of Hillsborough.
“The balloon looks exactly how we hoped it would and it behaved very well,” Girvan said. “It was a beautiful day and we were very satisfied with the test flights.”
Girvan said they are hoping Baby Trump will make his New Jersey debut in about three to four weeks. In addition, Girvan and Jimenez-Castro are working with organizations across the country to set up the inflatable's first appearance, which could be during the second or third week of September in California.
So far, two of the 20-foot-by-13-foot balloons have arrived in New Jersey and the remaining four should arrive by Monday, Girvan said.
Girvan and Jimenez-Castro had hoped to raise $4,500 to purchase one oversized, inflatable balloon similar to the one used to taunt the president during his visit to London earlier this summer. The donations far exceeded their expectations, allowing them to buy six balloons which will be available for "adoption" to organizations that have handled and managed large events and have experience with helium balloons, as well as other qualifications.
“We thought we would have one balloon, so we’re very pleased since the interest is geared towards having events prior to the midterms,” Girvan said. “We expect to continue the tour as long as Mr. Trump is in office and as our experience and network grows, we will have events across the country.”
As of Wednesday, 16 people have applied for the balloons from 10 different states, including New Jersey.