Knoxville Death Spotlights Potential Dangers of Gender Reveal Parties

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CLIVE, Iowa — A death at a Knoxville gender reveal party has sparked a new conversation surrounding the popular trend.

Gender reveal parties are extremely popular and even more so on social media. While the trend has grown, so have the ways to do them, sometimes going over the top.

Bonnie Rosa-Mosena, a certified wedding and event planner, says she started to see an increase in these types of party requests about five years ago.

“Ten years ago you really didn’t see gender reveal parties, hardly ever. But now, it’s a big deal. We do more and more of them,” said Rosa-Mosena.

She has also seen her fair share of creativity when it comes to these parties. She has done gender reveals with balloons, cakes, colored clothing, just about everything. 

“Half the fun is planning something and coming up with new ideas. A lot of times they’re coming to us like what are your ideas and how we can do this different than their friend did,” said Rosa-Mosena.

As this trend grows, clients come in with more and more extravagant ideas, one that even made her a little worried. The client wanted to shoot off a cannon-like device to reveal the sex of their child, and although she ultimately agreed, she made sure safety was a priority.

“We did it, but you as an event planner, your job is really to just express concern, but if that’s what they want to do, you’re being hired to help make this all happen, and we really did keep everybody back,” said Rosa-Mosena.

The so called cannon was a cardboard, manufactured device specifically made for a visual explosion. That is something Rosa-Mosena advocates for instead of homemade devices. 

Gender reveal party supplies can be bought at places like Party City, all commercially made and generally safe. However, Waukee fire and police departments were called to an explosion resulting from a gender reveal party.

The call ended up being uneventful with no injuries or damage to the property. What alarmed neighbors was the loud boom that could be heard from multiple neighbors.

“I think it caught them by surprise. We had at least three calls on it,” said Waukee Fire Department Captain Tomme Tysdal. “They bought a product, a commercially available product called Tannerite. It’s actually called the Tannerite Gender Reveal Boom Box.”

As long as the manufacturer’s instructions are followed, no one should get hurt, but it is always cautioned to never make your own device.

“We would never recommend anybody using explosives, especially your own homemade type of stuff,” said Tysdal.

The moral? Gender reveals can be fun without the extreme risk.

“There are like a dozen things we’ve done that are just more fun,” said Rosa-Mosena.


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