Blippi, a boisterous blue and orange dressed character from the internet that delights toddlers worldwide, paid a visit to Clarksville on July 19 to tape an episode with a special contest winner.
Layla Breil, 3, was selected from more than 650 entries in the “Blippi In My Hometown” contest.
Moonbug Entertainment, which has its global headquarters in London, brought the Los Angeles, California, production team to Mochas & Minis Indoor Play & Café, located at 550 Heritage Pointe Drive in Clarksville, where Layla met Blippi in person, had a tea party and played in the coffee shop’s play gym.
Blippi is a live-action program that entertains and educates children through videos, where the title character shares his visits to places like fire stations, construction sites and children’s museums.
As soon as Blippi, played by actor Stevin John, walked in the door of the north Clarksville coffee shop, Layla, who was dressed to match him with her blue shirt, orange bowtie, suspenders and matching orange eyeglass frames, greeted Blippi and instantly made a new friend.
They headed over to a table for a make-believe tea party and chatted about colors, Layla’s pets and her little sister.
The cameras and microphones followed Blippi and Layla’s every move and into the area, where Mochas & Minis allows children to play.
Breil family new to Clarksville
Layla’s mother, Lauren Breil, said the family of four moved to Clarksville from Tampa, Florida, in March.
Mochas & Minis Indoor Play & Cafe was one of the first businesses Lauren Breil said she and her girls, which includes Layla’s younger sister, Myka, visited once the family got settled.
It’s where the contest-winning video inviting Blippi to Clarksville was taped and also where Blippi met up with Layla to film a segment of his program.
Layla, who was familiar with her settings, took the time to show Blippi around to see what Mochas & Minis had to offer.
“It’s like the perfect place for moms like me, with a baby and a toddler to come and feel safe,” Breil said. “I let Layla play and the baby crawl on the floor.”
Ava Rahmani, with Moonbug Entertainment, said Layla won the video contest because the little girl embodied the state of mind of being curious, going on adventures and learning through play, much like the Blippi character does on all his educational programs.
“We felt in Layla’s video, she embodied that,” Rahmani said. “She came in and was exploring all the nooks and crannies at Mochas & Minis and went straight into not only having fun, but she showed there’s opportunity to learn.”
In Layla’s video, much like Blippi, she took time to point out colors and patterns while she played in the play gym area.
“She showed much enthusiasm for learning,” Rahmani said. “She appeared to be curious about everything, which is so much what we strive to get kids excited about.”
Rahmani said the fandom of Blippi has been overwhelming, given the hundreds of entries in the contest.
The fandom of thousands at a Tuesday afternoon Blippi meet and greet at the Wilma Rudolph Event Center at Liberty Park in Clarksville also took organizers by surprise.
The 4-6 p.m. event reportedly had traffic backed up on the Bypass, Riverside Drive and Cumberland Drive, with Blippi fans all wanting to get a peek of their favorite character.
Many gathered to see Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts present a certificate and coin to Layla Breil for bringing Blippi to Clarksville. Layla was honored with being “Mayor for the Day.”
Blippi is available on multiple platforms, including YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime and more.