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Thursday July 31, 2014
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Cascadia Juggling Festival

 

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clubs back and forth and laughing as they dropped to a very serious couple who alternately juggled and then critiqued each other. They were so silent and focused as to be almost grim. Nearby, a group of little kids, laughing hysterically, bounced themselves off enormous balls as big as they were. I considered joining in, but I didn't want to scare them.

The prop vendors down on the main floor have really cool toys I've not seen anywhere else: those plates you spin on a rod, the "diablo" or devil stick that gets tossed back and forth between two other sticks, and a peacock feather for balancing practice (on your finger or nose or elbow or wherever you like), along with information about societies for magicians and clubs for clowns and — my personal favorite — books about fire eating and sword swallowing. I didn't actually see any fire eaters or sword swallowers, but I did see folks riding unicycles, people wearing balloon animal hats, one guy riding a bizarre contraption called a "pedalo," and a group of guys from the Troy Area Yo-Yo Club who carried their yo-yos in specialized shiny silver cases and wielded them like Jedi knights with light sabers.

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