A year or two back, Ivan Pecel headlined the Hurricane Hugo Festival in Davidson, North Carolina. He returned with wonderful tales of a huge public show with an appreciative, fun civilian audience, great hosts, and an overall laid-back, yet joyful attitude on the part of the festival goers. Finally, I scored an invite from long-time organizer Bill Giduz, and I am here to say that it is all true. As an extra bonus, I got to take my lovely wife Lisa with me on the gig. We flew a red-eye out on Friday night and arrived on Saturday morning just in time for Juggling on the Green. It was great to pull up and see all these folk gathered on Village Green in the heart of downtown juggling at 9am in the morning. Did I mention that Davidson is a great little college town? Other highlights include: Getting to hang out with Jimmy Robertson, Joe Dean, Justy Joey, Paul Dimuzio (he's as good as David!) and many others. Having photos taken that would eventually become my cover shot for JUGGLE magazine. Winning the five ball endurance and messing around in the games (won a certificate to Ben and Jerry's!). Performing in the public show with Randy Cabral (awesome set), Kirk Marsh (really funny), and Burl the Bubble Guy (amazing). This was the first time I got to work with Steve Langley of the Fettucini Brothers, and he was definitely my crush of the event. Friendly, professional, and all Southern charm. The show went off, and I had a good set as well, so I was doubly happy. Walking around Davidson with Lisa at night was mellow, as was our stop to Ben and Jerry's in town. Our kind hosts put us up at The Carnegie House--wow. Stay at this place if at all possible. It rocks. On Sunday, we got an extra treat, as the whole festival packed up and drove north to Winston-Salem to check out the site of the 2007 IJA festival. We toured the facilities, checked out the sweet hotel digs, and juggled for some TV cameras and local folks. Another highlight for sure, especially because we got to drive up with Joe Dean and drive back with Steve Langley. I also got to teach a private diabolo master class to Steve, Doug Slouder and a few others--Thanks again guys!
To see the official website and check out some more photos of previous festivals, click here.
To see Bill Giduz's photos, click here.
To see Jim Edmonsons's excellent photos, click here.