This is why I love the MONDO Jugglefest

jugglingoranges.jpgYou don’t even wanna know how badly I wanna just sit here and write 2,000 words about the unspeakable awesomeness of my new condo. It’s just so awesome (I still haven’t figured out where I packed my thesaurus). I’ve been here for a mere five days and I can’t get enough of it. I’m so happy that I’m seriously considering sending a body double in my place to Romania and Moldova for seven weeks of guidebook research this summer, so I can just sit here and soak in the awesomeosity. Sadly, there isn’t another travel writer on Earth with a body like mine, so I guess I have to go.

So, since I’m not writing about my effing awesome condo (Did I mention it’s connected to the Skyway? And I have a clear view all the way to the downtown St Paul skyline?), I’ve decided to write about something else that’s obscure, yet dear to my heart, the annual MONDO Jugglefest, happening this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (April 11th, 12th and 13th).

For those of you too busy to read my lengthy bio, you may not know that I’ve been a juggler since age 12. There was a brief moment in time during my teens when my skill and breathtakingly rapid development had people dropping my name as the next Juggling All Star. But then I kissed a girl and all my practice time was suddenly filled with other activities. I regret nothing.

So, while I’m not even remotely as good as the average, non-girl-kissing teenaged juggler these days, I’m still very connected to this rarified art (one step above mime, one step below dinner-table magician), which is why I am so excited to get to the MONDO Jugglefest this weekend, held at Concordia College’s Gangelhoff Center, just off Hamlin Avenue in St Paul.

What do people do at a juggefest, you ask? Well, juggle like maniacs, for starters. There’s workshops, demonstrations, vendors and games happening on all three days. Not to mention the indescribable, jaw-dropping scene of watching a sea of people spread out all over a field house deftly throwing and catching (and dropping and bending overing and picking upping) hundreds of objects all at once.

And it’s not just juggling. Unicycling and yo-yoing are equally well represented. On Saturday night we hold our public show, the MONDO Spectacular, at the Central High Theater, where dizzying displays of top-shelf juggling, unicycling, yo-yoing and more are packaged and presented for hardcore enthusiasts and curious bystanders alike.

If you don’t juggle (or unicycle or yo-yo), this is without a doubt the best place to learn. Formal and informal coaching persists throughout the festival. I can teach anyone between the ages of six and 75 to juggle in less than 30 minutes. That’s right, in thirty minutes you can be just a little bit more like me and who doesn’t want that?

Festival Hours are:
Friday: 5:00pm – Midnight
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.
(Note: the Gym will be closed during the Spectacular, from 5 p.m. until the end of the show around 10 p.m.)
Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Gym passes, good for all three days, are $7 at the door. All attendees will be required to sign a waiver before admittance to the festival.

And for the ladies, juggling is perennially a lonely guy affair. Typically, the guy to girl ratio at a juggling festival is like 25 to one. If you’ve ever wanted to be in a safe, fun environment, where you can develop your dexterity and have your pick of literally hundreds of guys vying for your attention, this is the place. See you in the gym!

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Events, Juggling | 10.04.2008 10:28 | 1 Comment

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