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Winnipeg Festival '99: "Where the Americas Come to Juggle"

    The Winnipeg Festival was excellent! This is only the second festival we've been to. We got to meet lots of great Canadian jugglers and hang out with unicyclists from the TCUC as well!

    For three days (Oc.t 1-3) we admired the land of Celcius, kilometers per hour, washrooms, "amber" lights. loonies and double loonies and French! Friday night the Winnipeg juggling club and other festival goers met at Perry's restaurant just to hang out. Lotsa fun!

    When we showed up at the festival center on Saturday, the little gym was filled with jugglers doing amazing things! 5, 6, 7 balls, multiple clubs, club passing, devil sticks! diabolos! contact juggling! balloon animals! :) We got to experiment with devil sticks and diabolos (now we have a better appreciation of the difficulty!).

    We were the lone South Dakotans, and with the Twin City club, we were referred to as "the unicyclists." Before the TCUC members (Andy, Connie, Neil, Dana, Cameron, Preston, Schwartz, Jamey, Colin) showed up, all the Canadian jugglers were most impressed with our uni skills. Not for long - soon Dana was coasting all over the gym and seat dragging like it was nothing!

    Connie WOWed everyone by riding the Myron-cycle, which was invented by - you guessed it - Myron himself. You have to pedal forward with your right foot and backward with your left foot simultaneously. So it's like riding foward one-footed with right and backward one-footed with left, AT THE SAME TIME!

    In the afternoon we played these really wacky and funny juggling games! Stuff like three-ball relay races and three-ball Simon Says! Then we had to juggle one banana, one onion and one orange while EATING one of your choice! (And no juggling two-in-one hand while you eat the others!) The banana and oragne were NOT peeled... so you basically had no chance unless you scarfed the onion, and we weren't about to do that! Then we had to juggle slippery slimey bars of soap to see who could do it the longest. And then we had to pass 5 bean bags and one EGG. We did this outside, on cement! Our egg met it's death fairly quickly. Andy and Cameron had it going for awhile! You win by being the farthest apart - you spread out as you juggle - and Andy's egg ended up breaking in his hand as he caught it from so far away! yuck! And we had a balloon-scultping competition as well! :)

    That night we got to be in the show with the TCUC. A very professional-type of show. We got to hang out backstage with amazing performers. Lots of the jugglers from the Winnipeg club had acts in it, like Robin Chestnut, one of Winnipeg's best jugglers and the guy we saw at Mondo and were amazed with! There was a professional magician and professional juggler from Fargo, and these two guys from Saskatchawan who hold the Canadian record of passing 9 clubs!

    After the show, the entire gang went out to Moxie's (a restaurant) to eat supper and just hang out! We ate and talked until finally everyone left after midnight. We got to be good friends with some of Canada's up-and-coming jugglers, Daniel and Cary and Sky. :) The next day we were running on four hours of sleep!!

    Sunday morning was filled with more juggling and unicycling - we are learning lots of new mounts and tricks! Being around the TCUC is very inspiring. We left for home that afternoon - but we are looking forward to the next festival when we can see everyone again!