Friday 20 January 2017

Juggling 'Olympics' has carnival air

Published 26/07/2014 | 12:00

Spanish visitors Vinka, José, Natalia and José Manuel get in some acrobatic practice at the European Juggling Festival in Millstreet. Picture John Tarrant
Spanish visitors Vinka, José, Natalia and José Manuel get in some acrobatic practice at the European Juggling Festival in Millstreet. Picture John Tarrant

MILLSTREET is a hive of activity, with the world's largest circus in town as the European Juggling Convention in the Green Glens International Complex reaches a conclusion this weekend.

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Close on 3,000 jugglers from 40 countries are adding a cheerful atmosphere to the town.

The schedule climaxes on Saturday for a Juggling Olympics, a colourful street parade sees hundreds of jugglers show off their best moves, accompanied by stilt-walkers and drummers.

The parade will depart the Green Glens Complex at 1.30pm to the Town Square and returning to Millstreet Town Park for a carnival afternoon.

Thousands of performers and spectators have ventured into Millstreet for the week long festival in a hosting providing a terrific boost to the Millstreet economy.

The convention allows delegates from New Zealand, Japan, Russia, Africa to all over Europe dwell on a range of issues from discussing budgets, industry initiatives and offer entertainment aplenty.

Indoors, the highlight of the convention will be a grand finale circus act featuring trapeze artists and acrobats in the Green Glens Complex, with two Gala Shows scheduled for 6pm and 9.30pm.

Performances by jugglers from across the world display their talents at poi-spinning, diabolo, acrobatics, unicycle hockey, fire shows and workshops in all aspects of circus arts.

Tickets are available at the Green Glens Box Office.

The Convention is a meeting of jugglers and performers from different countries to share techniques, tricks, knowledge and aesthetic interpretations of their art, to experience shows as both performer and audience and to introduce communities to the skill, excitement and frustration that is juggling and circus.

Jugglers, artists, performers, amateurs and professionals of all levels have the opportunity to gather each year in a non-competitive environment, develop their ideas and share them with local communities.

This week free family and youth circus workshops have operated in Millstreet GAA Community Hall and continue on this Thursday and Friday from 10 to 11.30am, geared for those aged 6 months to 77 years.

A Youth Circus operates on Thursday and Friday from 11:30am to 1pm.

Walk the tight-wire, balance plates, spin diabolo, learn hulahoop, tumble and laugh. These are for ages 8 to 14 years with guidance by experienced and enthusiastic instructors.

The hosting has brought colour, fun and friendship to Millstreet. Centred at the Green Glens, those in attendance have spilled out into the town to create a brillant atmosphere.

And Millstreet folk have played their part, fresh painting, power hosing and splendid floral arrangements extending a céad míle fáilte to all the international visitors.


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