Friday, August 16, 2013

The Orphan Circus Comes to Town

Location: Nederland, CO 80466, USA
Mayor Gierlach photo-bombed by the Orphan Circus
I had the opportunity to have a VIP tour of the Louisville Downtown Street Faire hosted by Mayor Bob Muckle, and Erie Mayor Pro Tem, Ronda Grassi. The businesses on Louisville's Main Street, got together and raised $100,000 to renovate an old barn by the train tracks for the venue. Then they donated the barn to the town. What makes the Street Faire interesting, is that all the restaurants also have a booth at the fair.

It might seem obvious, but in Nederland, we've had an ongoing debate regarding events. Some of our residents would prefer a quiet bedroom community, and they were able to restrict our largest event (NedFest) so much that it was pushed to the end of town by the reservoir, fenced off, and the original organizer (Michigan Mike) was held responsible for all the security, parking, vending, beer sales, sound levels, etc. The end result was that the impact to residents was reduced, but the local restaurants and businesses suffered.

Making it look easy during the performance
Our second largest event (Frozen Dead Guy Days) was organized by our Chamber of Commerce and its goal was to benefit local restaurants and businesses. So, the event is spread out among all the businesses, who sell FDGD merchandise, and sponsor events at their location throughout the three day event. The result is that FDGD has become a prime indicator of business success, however, there are more traffic control issues at the main bridge in town, and the event is so spread out, that our law enforcement has to beef up staffing.

The Louisville Street Faire model seems to solve both issues, the event is easily managed and contained by the train tracks, and all the restaurants and businesses benefit by participating.

The Nederland Board of Trustees will have a work session on September 24 regarding events and noise, and I wonder if Nederland businesses can agree to adopt a similar model which solves both issues.

Orphan Circus:

On my VIP tour in Louisville, a pleasant surprise for me was the Orphan Circus. They are a Cirque Du Soleil style aerial performance troupe comprised of young teenage students. I joined the crowd in amazement as these kids spun around and caught themselves at the last moment after sliding down the fabric 20 feet. The aerial hula hoop performances are unreal.
The Orphan Circus

Orphan Circus performer shows her burn marks
I got the 'behind the scenes' tour of the troupe, and one of the performers showed me the burn marks on her arms from sliding on the fabric. She wore them like a badge of honor. During performance, they make it look easy, but these young women practice their craft for many hours a week, on a disciplined regiment.

The parents are a great support group, engineering the structure that holds them up, and assembling a fairly elaborate sound system with the speed and precision of professional roadies. I was so impressed that I asked the Town to hire them to perform for Nederland's Fourth of July celebration down by the Ned teen center.

The Orphan Circus exceeded our expectations for the Fourth of July, and you can still catch them at the Louisville Street Faire on Friday evening.

[Here is a Video Valediction] The 15th Annual NedFest Music and Arts Festival is next week, (August 23-25) and they'll host great bands all weekend. Check out the excellent lineup here. But along another NedFest tradition, I have hula hoops on my mind, so this is street performer, Lisa Lottie from London, hooping to the Parisian trio, Gotan Project's tango, Diferente

BONUS: [Here is a Video Valediction] ... and this is the Gotan Project performing Diferente in Nederland (Holland) [What is a Video Valediction?]
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