Have a ball with the club: Bates College jugglers present first annual festival

The Bates College Juggling Club invites juggling enthusiasts to drop everything and come to campus for the first annual Bates College Juggling Festival, taking place from noon to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4 at the college’s Alumni Gymnasium. The festival is open to the public at no charge.

“For many jugglers, there’s no better way to learn and to have fun than by juggling with others,” says Wren Schultz, president of the juggling club. “With that in mind, we thought it would be fun to invite everyone from the area to join us in sharing, learning, teaching, practicing and having fun at a festival.”

The festival will include afternoon workshops and competitions, and in the evening a performance featuring the Airborne Comedians, a physical comedy duo from Amherst, Mass.

The workshop topics are aimed at jugglers of all abilities, including aspiring professionals, and branch out into such other New Vaudeville practices as balloon sculpture. Throughout the event, someone will be on hand in a “construction zone” to teach beginners of all ages the very basics of juggling.

Among competition categories are the “diabolo high toss,” five-ball endurance, best trick and unicycle racing.The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be divided between first-time performers, who’ll start the evening, and experienced jugglers and physical comics. The confirmed performers include the Airborne Comedians, who combine music and comedy with flamboyant juggling technique — tossing lawn chairs, among other objects.

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