Winners of the coveted PHIL award this year were David DiMuzio "Most Jugglicious", Lily Ruth Mamary "Jest Sublime" and Nikola Marshall "Brilliantly Foolish".
News flash - Groundhog Day moved to April Fool's this year!
Festival Report by Charles Shapiro
One hundred and forty-eight jugglers from Georgia, the Southeast, and beyond attended the Groundhog Day Jugglers Festival April 1-3 at the Yaarab Shrine Center near downtown Atlanta. COVID-19 forced us into the longest postponement in the festival's forty-four year history, but we persevered. Three jugglers made it here all the way from Germany, and a total of 74 folks were from out of state. About five yoyoists also joined the party Saturday. Henry Slack brought his wonderful T-shirt quilt of past Groundhog shirts for display. Saturday afternoon some of us got a chance to do some simple passing patterns for Walter Beals's drone.
Friday night was quieter than usual as people filtered in past Registration. The usual round of unicycles, smallish passing patterns, and meetings of old friends helped get things cranked up by the late evening. Our wonderful food vendors served Indonesian Halal food from their new restaurant Warung.
Saturday morning things kicked off quickly, with the gym floor filled by 11:30 or so. AJA Founders Rodger French and Toni Shifalo both made it this year, along with Jerry 'Free Hugs'. Other notables present included Cate Flagherty, John Nations, Walter Beals, and Richard Kennison. The public show had six acts; past winner David Dimuzio won Most Juggilicous with a nearly flawless ball juggling act (just one dropped prop). Nikolai Marshall took Brilliantly Foolish with another ball act, performed in a heavy winter jacket with a snowball fight theme. Kennison protege LilyRuth Mamary won Jest Sublime juggling up to four clubs and five balls. Competitor Kathryn Carr also did an innovative juggling act with up to five hats.
Several Georgia and adjacent folks took home trophies at the games, including Joshua Black (quarters and huggling) and Jimmy Robertson with Lao Alovus (7-club doubles with random partners).
Workshops this year included basic club tricks, poi swinging, How to Make Money from Juggling, and several others.
The 'late night cabaret' featured 7 acts. Standouts included David Dimuzio doing some tricks he feared to do in the competition and using his daughter as a prop, Scott Raison with a pretty and classical hoop act, and Markus Furtner with some world-class devil sticking. Rodger French and the Deluxe Vaudeville Orchestra provided the wonderful live music, which also gave Tim Settimi a few chances to show off his natural pipes. Craig Lewis and Andrew Austin shared Mouse Award honors this year.
Like Friday, Sunday was pretty quiet. The big picture was taken around 3 pm.
Fifteen exhausted and thirsty jugglers attended the post-groundhog dinner at Manuel's Tavern. It broke up around 8 pm, still light outside from Daylight Savings Time.
See you next year!