46th Annual Isla Vista Juggling Festival

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46th Annual Isla Vista Juggling Festival
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By Robert Bernstein

Mother's Day weekend people came from far and wide to attend the 46th Annual Isla Vista Juggling Festival in Isla Vista! The longest-running juggling festival in the world! Here are my photos! Here are my videos!

The event was a bit smaller than usual due to COVID. Notably, there was no big public show as there usually is. But many of the regulars came from the Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego and we even had someone come from Las Vegas. And we had quite a few new young stars.

Juggling festivals are a chance for new people to come by and try juggling for the first time.

This young woman Anita was getting the hang of three balls.

We were very fortunate to have quite a few people drop by just because they walked by and saw the festival. On Saturday it was in Little Acorn Park in Isla Vista and on Sunday it was near the Goleta Train Depot. I could not attend that part because we were attending our friends' wedding that day.

This Czech couple Misha and Philip came down from the Bay Area to juggle with local regular Bob Mills:

Aidee Castro came up from Paramount near Los Angeles to perfect her five ball juggling.

I am especially impressed with the people who are professional performers who come and participate even though they don't get paid.

Jack Kalvan (right in this photo) is such a professional. He passed clubs with Barry Friedman who came down from Morro Bay for the first time in many years.

It isn't all juggling. People practice other circus arts at these events. Here Michael Toso performed on the longest and highest slack line I have seen at such an event. Working without a net!

Connor Sheedy combined both skills as he passed clubs with Michael from the slack line!

In the evening things got even more interesting. Glow toys and fire took over the evening! Danielle Bushar helped organize the event and she pushed her limits a bit while juggling on out of town visitor Hunter's shoulders.

She passed fire clubs with Connor and local juggler Matt Guidry.

She went on to juggle fire on Hunter's shoulders and gave him a bit of a scare as she swooped it a bit close to his head!

Here visitor Jared Davis passed glow clubs with two others while fire is being tossed around in the background.

Fire jugglers have to go through a training early in the evening to understand various safety issues. I am more of a unicyclist than a juggler, but Danielle got this short video of me trying glow balls in the dark for the first time. Fun!

You might wonder why the Festival moved to the Goleta Depot area the next day. It is because Danielle also drives the train over there! Here she gave us a ride over there in March! You might recognize her!

The Isla Vista Juggling Festival is a fund raiser for "Standing Together to End Sexual Assault" (SBSTESA) formerly known as the Rape Crisis Center. This is in honor of Isla Vista juggler Patty Laney who was raped and murdered back in the 1970s.

May Camp came all the way from China Lake. Here she was selling t-shirts with Danielle as part of the fundraising.The Santa Barbara Juggling Association and Club Juggling at UCSB meet all year round to juggle, learn new tricks and teach anyone who wants to give it a try!

Here http://www.sbjuggle.org/ you can find more information!

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qmc May 22, 2022 06:00 PM
46th Annual Isla Vista Juggling Festival

Robert, thanks for posting this. Alas, I couldn't make it this year.
Juggling fire props really isn't that dangerous, however, it is a bit daunting until you get used to it. If you happen to catch on fire (usually a tiny bit of fuel transfer from the wick), just snuff it out and keep on juggling. The fire marshals make sure people adhere to safe practices.

sbrobert May 23, 2022 11:16 AM
46th Annual Isla Vista Juggling Festival

Fire juggling is probably less dangerous than it appears, BICYCLIST. As QMC noted, it is not so bad even if some flaming bit gets on you.

I learned juggling with the MIT Juggling Club in the late 70s. The professional Fantasy Jugglers used to practice with us. They used heavy wooden clubs. The sound was magical when all went well. But broken noses were a thing when things did not go well. And one day they threw one through one of our plate glass windows. They paid a huge bill and were not allowed back inside the building to practice. I was very sorry to lose them.

I would say those things and knives (and running chain saws) make fire seem tame.

QMC: Thank you for the kind words. What is your IRL name? Do we know each other?

Henry Sarria May 24, 2022 03:59 AM
46th Annual Isla Vista Juggling Festival

Always great to see this crew put this festival together & have fun in our parks here in IV. as was mentioned, this event is the longest running event at a single location which means for 46 years they've been holding this event in the IV parks. OUSTANDING!
The coolest thing was the IVRPD Board of Directors voted to waive park use fees for this awesome group of people, a form of appreciation, not only for what they do, but what they stand for.
My wife & I stopped by to check it out, had a great time, met some cool folks & enjoyed the juggling antics. Everyone was havin' a great time & that's what our parks are for.
I encourage any & all to come out next year & check it out, definitely a great time & for a good cause. Heck, just come out & enjoy the parks here in IV, they're lookin' GREAT!

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