It’s MONDO Jugglefest time again! Can you believe it’s been 20 years already? Remember the first MONDO? The catchphrase “The biggest juggling festival in the upper Midwest between Groundhog’s Day and Valentine’s Day” lured a whopping 80 people on short notice for the one-day event. Buddha, 1990 was a great year. I could finally juggle five clubs, I thought I’d be listening to The Art of Noise until my death and I had that bitchin’ ponytail. Good times.
Well, apart from my hair style, MONDO has aged gracefully. About 600 people showed up to the three day event last year and the Saturday night public show, the MONDO Spectacular, routinely sells out. As always, the festival is being held at Concordia College’s monstrous Gangelhoff Center, just off Hamlin Avenue in St Paul. This massive field house, with the bouncy rubber floor that weaponizes virtually every dropped club, is where all the workshops, demonstrations, prop vending and games will occur. There are few things in life that can stun the brainstem like walking into a room where several hundred people are deftly throwing and catching (and dropping and bending overing and picking upping) thousands of objects simultaneously. When you factor in the army of unicyclists wizzing around and the yoyoing and poi spinning you’d be crazy to miss out on this singular event. That’s right, crazy! You don’t want to be crazy, do you? Crazy is so 2000-2008.
If you don’t juggle (or unicycle or yo-yo), this is the 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?
And 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.
For the most part juggling is wholesome, safe and non-hurty. That said, here’s a little sample of the edgier stuff, where smashed fingers and body blows are verily guaranteed, both for the jugglers and the people standing within 20 feet of the jugglers. [Those using blog readers will have to watch the video here.]
20th Annual MONDO Jugglefest
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.
Tickets for the Spectacular (7pm, Saturday February 21st) are $12 for adults, $10 for children under 12.
Friday Feb. 20th: 5:00pm – Midnight
Saturday Feb 21st: 9:00am to 2:00am
(Note: the Gym will be closed during the Spectacular show, roughly from 5pm until the end of the show around 10pm)
Sunday Feb 22nd: 10:00am to 5:00pm