About Portland PartyWorks

In the 20 years that PartyWorks has been in business, we've developed systems, knowledge and relationships that make us a leader in the entertainment industry. It is our desire to share that experience with you and to bring our cutting edge concepts to your events!

We are here to share some tips on producing successful events along with some time-tested facts about party planning. We're also going to throw in a funny story from time to time because we're serious about fun!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

History of Inflatable Bouncer

1959 - John Scurlocks invents the 'First Inflatable 'Spacewalk'
1968 - First Inflatable rental Company
1974 - Netting Used For Walls
1986 - Inflatables Theme Park Opened

Credited with the invention of the Bounce House, John Scurlocks greatest achievement in the field of inflatables was the invention of safety air cushions. This product is now widely used by fire and rescue departments to hold people jumping from heights.

In 1959 while experimenting with inflatable covers for tennis courts, swimming pools, and other enclosures John came up with the idea for the first moonwalk. He noticed the loss and refilling of air made the covers bouncy and the employees kept flopping and jumping on them and having a great time. Scurlock decided to create a kid’s amusement bouncer. He originally called the inflatable structures "Spacewalks" and started a company of the same name.

In 1974 the Jupiter Jump was born. These modern jumps had inflated columns to support walls constructed of netting allowing air to pass through the bounce house. This innovative solution solved the problem of intense heat that was generated inside the jumpers greatly enhancing the popularity of the Inflatable jumpers.

Back in 1968 Scurlock's wife Frances started an inflatable rental company and in 1976 they constructed a custom facility for the manufacture and leasing of the increasingly popular products. Their marketing targeted kids birthday parties, church and school functions. Their 
son Frank extended the rental enterprise across the United States under the brand name Area Walk and Inflatable Zoo. In 1986 Frank also established the first all inflatable indoor play park called The Fun Factory.
The term "Bounce House" came to popularity with the resurgence of hipster culture in New England. These inflatable’s are also marketed as Bounce Houses, Moon Bounces, Astrojumps, Moonwalks, Jolly Jumps and Spacewalks. "Pula pula" is another name commonly used by Latinos, which literally means "jump jump". In Southern California, another popular term is Closed Inflatable Trampolines (CITs). Bouncy Castle or Inflatable Castle is used in Ireland, the UK, New Zealand and parts of Australia, and Jumping Castles in Arizona, Australia, Canada and South Africa.
Whatever they are called, there growth in popularity has led to an inflatable rental industry which includes inflatable slides, obstacle courses, games, and more. 

Inflatables are ideal for portable amusements because they are easy to transport and store. Computer Aided Design or CAD, means the variety of jumpers offered today is huge and only limited to human imagination.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Tomorrow kicks off the 3rd annual Sandy Oktober Festival. 

This three-day event is for all ages to enjoy. Seniors and singles, couples and families can find fun. Are you ready to enter the pickle eating contest or maybe you have an award winning Jam to enter into the Jam/Jelly contest. These old-fashioned events share the spotlight with traditional Oktoberfest fun like the 10,000 sq ft Biergarten with American and German beers in abundance. Each night features a different musical venue for all music aficionados. Still not sure, maybe the Classic Car Show is more your style. 

If that doesn't get you, we know what will. PartyWorks 25-foot Inflatable Extreme Slide will be there along with our Four Elements Obstacle Course and one of our all time favorite Bounce Houses.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Portland PartyWorks "All-Night Grad-Parties"

Birthday Party Bounce

September is a crazy time of year for parents with school starting and reestablishing bedtimes. It also happens to be the month my son was born. Somewhere in between the lists of school supplies to be bought and school clothes to be organized, I had to plan a birthday party.
I will never forget his 10th birthday slumber party with 10 boys. My biggest mistake was not having enough activities to occupy those sugar-fortified dynamos! When the lights went out; pillows went flying and there was a giant dog-pile with a bloody nose on the bottom.

Here are some ideas for your Tweens party to kick the school year off with some serious fun!
  1. Ask your tween to help plan the party. Agree together on a budget so there are no false expectations. If you do this, the rest will fall into place.
  2. How many guests will be invited? Is your son or daughter the life of the party, or are they happier with a few close friends?
  3. Where will the party take place? Now that you know the who and the how much, you are ready for the where. The weather, time of day, and type of event will need to be considered along with any space requirements.

Proper Party Planning Prevents Problems

Real World Examples Demonstrate The Importance Of Planning
When you are throwing a party for a very large crowd, detailed planning becomes your best weapon against disaster ruining all your hard work. Rather than give you a list of "Do's and Don'ts", I am going to share some real world examples from a recent wedding. Turns out that party had a few embarrassing problems, one that started before the event even took place!
  1. PROBLEM: Kim Kardashian Axes 50 From Wedding Guest List...The issue was a problem with space--"namely not enough of it--at the home of Google's Eric Schmidt in Montecito, California. Wouldn't you think this would have been recognized sooner than two days prior to the big event?" It is worth noting, the wedding was planned in under three months. Standard wedding planning guidelines recommend six months to a year. Invitations generally are mailed out 2 months in advance, with a Save The Date mailer 3-6 months prior to that.
    • Solution: When selecting a venue remember to count the staff. Kim's staff of 125 rousted some invited guests. You will also need to determine if you will have other items requiring a large quantity of  the venues square footage. Will you have a dance floor, band, photo booth? All of this will reduce your maximum attendance capacity.  A formula often used by meeting planners is 10 sq. ft per person*. Then the seating arrangement, table size, exhibits, etc are deducted from this to determine the maximum attendance the room will allow. (*reference: meeting planners international)