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World Juggling Day On The Way

Jugglers and circus artists from Amador, Calaveras, and Tuolumne counties, join others on all seven continents June 14 to celebrate World Juggling Day (WJD).

The local WJD celebration will be held at Murphys Park in Murphys from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. There will be open juggling, workshops, and performances throughout the day. Although this is World “Juggling” Day, other circus arts will be celebrated, including stilt walking, unicycling, clowning, acrobatics, and much more. The event is organized by Erin Stephens and Kevin Axtell of “The Jazzmin Jugglers”, in partnership with the Calaveras Arts Council (CAC). Stephens, a juggler and performer from Murphys, has been juggling since age 11, when she learned the skill at an after school program. Axtell learned from Stephens in high school, and has soared into juggling excellence.

They are now persuing professional performance careers in circus arts,and emphasize teaching those arts to children and youth. The two have been performing and teaching together for the past six months, at places ranging from The Teddy Bear Tea at Ironstone Vineyards, Hazel Fischer and Waldorf Elementary Schools, Sonora Christmas Craft Faire, and various juggling festivals throughout the state.

“It is my hope that this WJD Festival will not only be inspiring for the growing circus community in the Mother Lode, but also a way for the community to see these hidden local talents,” says Stephens. Jugglers and other circus artists from around the state will also be attending to practice, teach workshops, and perform. Vendors selling props and T-shirts will be on site.

On the same day, jugglers from Alberta to Antarctica will be doing likewise in this unique attempt to demonstrate their enthusiasm for the infinite possibilities of object manipulation.

The event has been organized on the internet by the International Jugglers´ Association (IJA) in celebration of its founding in June 1947. The worldwide sponsor of WJD is Todd Smith Products, one of the world´s leading manufacturers of juggling equipment. Interested local sponsors are encouraged to contact Stephens. Additional updates will be published in the local media.

For more information on the local event, contact Erin Stephens at (209)728-3084,

{mail:thejazzminjugglers@yahoo.com}thejazzminjugglers@yahoo.com{/mail}; for information on the worldwide event, contact Bill Gidus, World Juggling Day director for the IJA, at (704)892-1297 (h), (704)894-2244, {mail:giduz@juggle.org}giduz@juggle.org{/mail}.