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Armstrong mom sends in the clowns

Thirteen clowns holding 13 red balloons made one Armstrong teen’s birthday dreams — or nightmares — come true Monday.

Witnesses turned to social media claiming they spotted the kooky cast at Memorial Park Monday, April 12, warning coulrophobics to stay away.

Armstrong mom Sheila Derbyshire, a self-described “Halloween freak,” said she planned the unusual outing to celebrate her daughter’s milestone birthday in style by surprising her at Len Wood Middle School on April 12.

She rallied 12 others on the Monday afternoon, handed them a costume she conveniently already had and did their makeup before strolling through town.

“We showed up outside Talyn’s classroom and it was just head down on desk,” she said of her daughter’s reaction, admitting she’s not particularly fond of clowns.

Each clown handed Talyn a red balloon, one for each lap around the sun completed.

Sheila Derbyshire surprised her daughter, Talyn, at Len Wood Middle School in Armstrong April 12, 2021, for her 13th birthday with 13 clowns carrying 13 red balloons. (Sheila Derbyshire - Contributed)

“She was definitely embarrassed,” Derbyshire said. “But she’s used to it, she should have known something was going on.”

Only a few weeks before, the mother of two showed up at the school hopping around in an Easter bunny costume.

Car honks, waves and strangers approaching with questions made the outing especially entertaining and meaningful.

The family moved to Armstrong in September and Derbyshire said they may as well “make ourselves known.”

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Caitlin Clow

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Caitlin Clow

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