"This is something I just absolutely love and look forward to all the time," said Barb Gregersen.
At the free Lollipops Concerts for kids through the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, Barb Gregersen puts on her make-up and her wig to play Bubbles the clown.
Gregersen said she's always loved the symphony, and 30 years ago, a call went out for another clown.
"My background is early childhood education. It was children ages three to 10, so I volunteered," said Gregersen.
She'd never played a clown before but wanted to get involved.
"I know children need to hear symphonic music in an appropriate way if we're going to build an audience for the future," she said.
Anytime there's a Lollipops Concert, there's Bubbles. She greets the children and helps them find a good seat.
Gregersen said she understands some children (and adults) are scared of clowns, which is why her marionette Babaloo comes in handy.
"If I can approach them with Babaloo, I'm okay," said Gregersen.
Besides greeting the children, Bubbles also has another important role of teaching the kids proper concert etiquette. Barb Gregersen believes she's played the role of Bubbles at more than 250 performances, and she's not stopping.
"I kind of joke I could pry do this out of a motorized wheelchair if I had to. I love it. Sometimes I think how long can I do this. As long as my health is good or they ask me to stop," said Gregersen.
She said she loves music and working with children so the concerts are the perfect fit for her... or should we say for Bubbles.
Gregersen taught elementary school and early childhood education.
She retired in June 2010 after more than 40 years of teaching.