Up in the Air

Juggling Convention tosses fun around

SAT, 8/16

How's your flash with triples? Can you chase the sun? If so, make your way to Fillmore Plaza in Cherry Creek at 11 a.m. today to register for the first Rocky Mountain Juggling Convention and Tournament. The contest officially begins at noon, and events will run until about 4 p.m. "You'll notice that the word 'convention' comes before the word 'tournament' in the title," says event organizer Gyro Doffydd, from the Wizard's Chest. "That's on purpose." The gathering, he explains, "is just a great way of drawing people together."

Still, it's also competitive enough that over fifty entrants will be divided into two age categories (under and over fifteen) in three separate skill levels. There are also four competition categories, including tricks with balls, clubs, a freestyle event and something called "diabolo," which Doffydd describes as a Chinese yo-yo that resembles a giant hourglass spinning on a string. With all of these gadgets, good jugglers can pull off dozens of balancing and acrobatic tricks. But to win a category, entrants will have to flawlessly perform progressively harder tricks better than their competitors.

Doffydd urges experienced jugglers and newbies, kids and adults alike, to come and hang out -- regardless of whether they plan to compete. But they can also practice here, or even try the sport for the first time. "We just want to spread the joy of juggling," he says. "I learned to juggle at eleven, and it changed my life."

For more information, visit the Wizard's Chest online at www.wizardschest.com or call Doffydd at 303-321-4304. -- Hart Van Denburg

Ride the night
SAT, 8/16

Thousands of midnight riders are expected to hit the streets for tonight's eleventh annual U.S. Bank Moonlight Classic, which stretches from the blue-light haze of downtown Denver to the starry skies of Cherry Creek and back. "It's a totally different experience," says event director Scot Harris. "It's feels so strange to be out there riding in the middle of the night surrounded by thousands of people."

The event, a fundraiser for Seniors! Inc., kicks off at 10 p.m. at the State Capitol with the O'Doul's After Hours Cycling Bash, complete with Outrageous Costume and Best-Lit Bike contests. Participants can choose between ten- and twenty-mile courses, with the first of four waves leaving at midnight. "It's pretty much the opposite of a race," says Harris, who points out that three Midnight Snack Stops along the way will feature live music. "We want people to slow down and hang out."

Advance registration costs $30 for adults and $20 for kids under twelve and seniors over sixty; there's an extra $5 charge the night of the event. For more information, visit www.moonlight-classic.com or call 303-282-9020. -- Julie Dunn

 
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