Humboldt Juggling Festival marks it’s return

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The Humboldt Juggling Festival is back for the first time since COVID, and performance artists from all over are coming together. 

We spoke to one of the founding members of the Humboldt Circus club to learn more about the comeback.

“It’s been five years since we had the festival. So I’ve been teaching people how to juggle, trying to get enthusiasm for the festival. It works. Look, we’re having it!”, says Shea Freedomhowler. 

“It was just sort of a student recreational activity until 2001, when the club hosted the first Humboldt Juggling Festival. But in 2000, I mean, a few of my friends started the Humboldt Circus club with emphasis on performance, which is separate to then having a festival”, he said. 

The Juggling club has done nothing but grow in the last 20 years, rain or shine. 

“Juggling is such a meditative activity. It’s physical and it keeps you moving towards goals. You’re like, ‘let me learn this trick, let me practice it over and over again’ til you get it . And then you get the satisfaction of finally getting it. And it’s also such a community sport too, you get to learn from other people, learn tricks, get people excited about it”, said Camille Borrowdale, workshop coordinator. 

There are even professionals here to facilitate workshops. 

“I’m a full time performer. So, like, a lot of regional juggling festivals will bring in a few, you know, people who are juggling professionally for a living, so that’s the role i’m here”, Says Lucy Juggles, professional performer.

“Since I come from the other side of the country, I have regional differences in my juggling. There are some skills that I have focused on that are less common here, which is kind of nice. You know, it’s also a nice opportunity to perform for an audience who is already invested. Like, a lot of times when you’re performing as a juggler, you have to, like, make people care about the thing that you’re doing. But here everybody already cares”, she said. 

Story by Tucker Caraway