IJA eNewsletter, January 2017

Editors: Don Lewis and Martin Frost

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Best Wishes for 2017 !


  • Chair’s message
  • 70th IJA Juggling Festival, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, July 10-16, 2017
  • 2017 IJA Festival Lodging
  • Getting to the 2017 IJA Festival
  • The Paramount Theatre – Citizens of Cedar Rapids save their city from The Great Flood of 2016
  • Montreal – Festival and New Juggling Space
  • Latest articles in eJuggle
  • Upcoming juggling festivals


Chair’s message, by Nathan Wakefield

We’re always looking for ways to give back to our members.  Sometimes people ask me what the benefits are to being an IJA member.  Currently, we offer IJA members the following benefits:

For 2017, we have some great members-only content lined up, including festival video releases as well as some never before released historical footage of juggling greats.

We’re always looking for feedback, and we love hearing from our members.  Feel free to drop us a line anytime to let us know what you think and what you’d like to see from the organization.

This year also marks our big 70th anniversary festival!  We’re trying out a few new things this year for the occasion, and IJA Festival Director Dan Holzman is pulling out all the stops.  Expect to see extra shows, a coaching lounge, and more!  There will be some major announcements made in the next couple months as we approach the opening of pre-registration.

Wishing you a prosperous year of juggling,

Nathan Wakefield
IJA Chairman

70th IJA Juggling Festival, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, July 10-16, 2017, by Dan Holzman

Hi, it’s Dan, your friendly neighborhood IJA festival director.

One of the reasons I think people put up with me, besides my stellar wit and modesty, is that sometimes I’m able to offer insights that are helpful to others.  I believe I am having one of those insights right now, and I would like to share it with the IJA members interested in helping me put on the best IJA festival possible.  (Please excuse the mangled Spider-man quote below.)

“With great responsibility comes the responsibility to use great power.”

I see being the IJA festival director as a great responsibility.  So, I would like to call on the power of my IJA friends to help me in a couple of ways.

1) If you know you are going to the festival, please go to the IJA 70th Annual Festival page on Facebook and invite your friends to join us.
If you know you’re not going, please visit the festival page and invite your enemies, then burn them by not showing up.

Right now the number of invitees is around 500, and I would love to have it up to 5000 by the time registration opens on March 1st.  Just doing a few invites a day between juggling and cute cat videos should do it.

2) Take a peek and then stick around for a longer look below at the festival information on two promotional postcards designed by my wife Karen Holzman and featuring two of our 2017 special guests Emily Jane Perkulator and Gena Shvartsman Christiani.  If you are wondering why there are two postcards or what the heck water skuggling is, stick around. All will be revealed in the next eNewsletter.

Thanks and don’t forget there’s no “I” in “Team” because then it would be Teiam and that is not something I would like to be a part of, since I have no idea what it means.



2017 IJA Festival Lodging,
by Mike Sullivan

Official Festival Headquarters Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cedar Rapids Convention Complex ($109.00/night single through quad) – The IJA headquarters hotel is located in the same building as the gym, workshop spaces and Renegade venue, and a 5-minute walk to the Paramount Theatre. Numerous restaurants, bars, shops and city parks are within an easy walk.

The DoubleTree Hotel Cedar Rapids Convention Complex is a brand-new, modern, high-rise hotel that is attached to the U.S. Cellular Center Convention Center and arena. You can ride the hotel elevator from your room in the hotel and walk right into the gym through the hotel lobby, without ever leaving air-conditioned comfort!  The DoubleTree Hotel is the right choice for jugglers who want the best combination of convenience and comfort for the week!

Check out all of these great reasons to choose the DoubleTree Hotel for the most carefree week of festival fun in Cedar Rapids:

  • 275 modern, clean, quiet, comfortable rooms, all of them just a quick elevator ride away from the gym, workshops and Renegade.
  • On-site dining at 350 First, the hotel’s rooftop restaurant. Open 6:30am to 1:30pm for breakfast and lunch; 5:30pm to 9pm for dinner, 7 days a week. The adjacent lounge is open 4:30pm-late for cocktails and bar food with spectacular views of the city and riverfront.
  • Indoor heated pool and full fitness center.
  • In-room dining available 6:30am – 9pm.
  • Hilton HHonors Digital Key – use your smartphone to automatically unlock your guest room door, and check in and check out without stopping at the reception desk on your arrival and departure day! Use the Hilton HHonors app to customize your stay, choose your room from a digital floor plan, and much more! Get the free app from the Google Play store or the App Store.
  • Free Wi-Fi internet access throughout the property for all jugglers reserving with the special IJA rate.
  • Free airport shuttle for all registered guests to and from Eastern Iowa Airport (CID). Call the hotel for details and pick-up times.
  • Free secured garage parking for all jugglers reserving with the special IJA rate.

Use this special IJA group booking link, or book at Hilton.com and enter Group Code IJA.

If reserving by phone, tell the reservationist you are booking at the IJA (International Jugglers’ Association) group rate using group code IJA.

DoubleTree Hotel Cedar Rapids Convention Complex
350 First Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Hotel direct phone: 1-319-731-4444
Hotel Website
IJA Group Rate booking link

And to make your festival week as affordable as possible, IJA has negotiated an amazing rate of just $109.00/night single through quad, plus 12% state and local tax and $1.00/room/night city tourism fee ($123.08/night total).

To book your stay at the exclusive IJA festival group rate:

  1. Call the hotel directly at 1-319-731-4444 between 5am-6pm Central Time Monday-Friday, or use this special booking link to book online. (If you have any problems with the online booking, please call the hotel directly to make your reservation).
  2. Tell the reservationist you are booking at the IJA group rate, or enter group code IJA when reserving online.
  3. Use your credit card to guarantee your reservation. No deposit is required.
  4. BOOK BY JUNE 9, 2017, to obtain the IJA rate.
  5. Availability is limited, so book soon!

Getting to the 2017 IJA Festival,
by Mike Sullivan

Cedar Rapids, The City of Five Seasons, is Iowa’s second-largest city and is located along the banks of the Cedar River in Northeastern Iowa. Cedar Rapids is in the Central US Time Zone.


The Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) is just 9 miles south of all of our festival venues in downtown Cedar Rapids, and connects the city to the world with over 30 flights a day to world hubs at Chicago O’Hare, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Denver, Charlotte, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Detroit and Atlanta on flights from American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier and United Airlines. Chicago and Minneapolis are just a quick 20- to 30-minute flight from CID on more than a dozen daily jet round-trips.

Additional service is provided on Allegiant Airlines to and from Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), St. Petersburg/Clearwater International (PIE), Los Angeles International (LAX), Phoenix/Mesa Williams Gateway Airport (AZA), Las Vegas (LAS), and Ft. Meyers/Punta Gorda, FL (PGD).

AMERICAN AIRLINES serves Cedar Rapids with several daily flights to their world hubs at Dallas/Ft. Worth International (DFW) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD), plus two daily round-trips to Charlotte (CLT), and then on to 350 cities in 50 countries. Through the oneWorld global network, American and their 14 oneWorld partner airlines serve an additional 1,000 cities. Visit aa.com for booking, or visit oneworld.com for information on oneWorld partner airlines worldwide.

DELTA AIRLINES serves Cedar Rapids with several daily flights to their world hubs at Atlanta/Hartsfield International, Detroit and Minneapolis/St. Paul, and then on to 325 cities on six continents. Through the SkyTeam global network, Delta connects to over 600 additional international destinations through 20 partner airlines. Visit delta.com for booking, or visit skyteam.com for information on SkyTeam partner airlines worldwide.

FRONTIER AIRLINES serves Cedar Rapids with twice-weekly non-stops from Denver International Airport on mainline AirBus jets. Connecting through their hub at Denver, Frontier flies to over 50 cities in the US and the Caribbean. Visit https://www.flyfrontier.com for booking.

UNITED AIRLINES serves Cedar Rapids with several daily flights to their world hubs at Chicago/O’Hare and Denver. Through the Star Alliance global network, United connects to over 1,400 worldwide cities through 50 hubs on two dozen Star Alliance partner airlines. Visit united.com for booking, or visit staralliance.com for information on Star Alliance partner airlines worldwide.

ALLEGIANT AIRLINES serves Cedar Rapids with low-fare flights to six popular Sunbelt destinations: Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), St. Petersburg/Clearwater International (PIE), Los Angeles International (LAX), Phoenix/Mesa Williams Gateway Airport (AZA), Las Vegas (LAS), and Ft. Meyers/Punta Gorda, FL (PGD). From their Las Vegas hub, Allegiant flies to over 60 cities. Visit allegiantair.com for booking or click here for an interactive route map of their flights.

The Doubletree Hotel provides complimentary airport shuttle service for registered guests. The shuttle leaves CID airport baggage claim shuttle bus area for the hotel on the half-hour, and leaves the hotel for the airport on the hour throughout the day, seven days a week. Call the hotel at 1-319-731-4444 for details and pick-up times.

Additional ground transportation options from the airport to downtown include car rental, independent airport shuttles, taxi, limousine, Uber, and public city bus CRTransit (Route 11), which stops about 3 blocks from the Doubletree Hotel.  See this page for all ground transportation options.


Cedar Rapids is 23 miles north of I-80 along I-380. Driving times to Cedar Rapids from major Midwestern cities:

           Chicago:  4 Hours St. Louis: 4.5 Hours Minneapolis: 4 Hours
  Des Moines: 2 Hours      Omaha: 3 Hours Kansas City: 4.5 Hours
  Detroit: 7.5 Hours Madison, WI: 3 Hours     Cleveland: 8.5 Hours


Burlington Trailways serves Cedar Rapids with a terminal at Eastern Iowa Airport, and serves over 75 destinations in six Midwestern states, as well as connecting with the nationwide Greyhound Lines network.

The Paramount Theatre – Citizens of Cedar Rapids save their city from The Great Flood of 2016, by Mike Sullivan

If you read our article in last month’s eNewsletter about the spectacular Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids and how it was given a new life after the historic Great Flood of 2008, you already know
how much the people of Cedar Rapids love the theater and the superhuman effort they made to restore it after an almost certain end in that devastating flood.

The Great Flood of 2008 set a record flood level in downtown of 31.12 feet – 19 feet above major flood stage and the highest level ever recorded for the Cedar River. That flood decimated the city, and it took six years of incredible effort and expense, almost solely borne by the people of Cedar Rapids, to bring their jewel of a city back from that historic disaster.

But there’s more to the story of floodwaters in Cedar Rapids and the Paramount Theatre, and that is where this article begins.

Festival Director Dan Holzman and I visited Cedar Rapids in early September of last year to meet with all our partners and contacts in the city and make plans for the festival activities. As usual, the city was sparkling clean, and we enjoyed walking around downtown to get to all our appointments and seeing how lovely and convenient everything will be for our festival this summer.

Just a few weeks later, however, more than a week of heavy rains in the Midwest again threatened Cedar Rapids with floodwaters. By September 19th, city officials were standing by to implement flood protection measures, fearing the worst as forecasters predicted another record flood stage. As forecasters predicted higher and higher flood crests, the citizens in Cedar Rapids and those of us watching from a distance feared that the Cedar River would again try to ruin the city – and thereby eliminate any chance of our festival being held there this summer.

But the people of Cedar Rapids weren’t going to give in to the floodwaters without putting up a tremendous fight.

By Tuesday, September 20th, city leaders mobilized the carefully-designed plans they had prepared after the Great Flood of 2008, and along with hundreds of city workers, contractors and thousands of citizen volunteers from the region and across the state, they began an around-the-clock effort to protect the city from destruction.

In the few days of advance warning before the predicted crest at 27 feet on September 27th, they:

  • Installed 17 miles of HESCO flood barriers along the most vulnerable riverfront on both sides of the river downtown, filling them with 20 million pounds of sand.
  • Filled by hand and deployed some 400,000 sandbags as a second line of defense inside the HESCO barriers, along the perimeters of buildings and city infrastructure, in case the flood waters overtopped the 2-meter high HESCO walls.
  • Moved 60,000 books and other assets from the ground floor of the beautiful new Main Library in downtown, relocating them to the third floor.
  • Deployed emergency pumps and response teams along the flood barriers, monitoring the emergency flood protection they had built.

And, remembering what a near-fatal blow the city-owned Paramount Theatre suffered in the Great Flood of 2008, the city put out a call for volunteers to help remove seats and other fixtures from the main level of the historic theater and carry them up to the balcony level where floodwaters could not reach, even if the flood broke through the barriers and sandbags and flooded into the theater again.

The citizens of Cedar Rapids responded, along with a swarm of professional carpenters from Local 308 of the Carpenter’s Union in Cedar Rapids. Remembering all the work Local members had done to restore the theater after the Great Flood of 2008, the Local and their brothers and sisters from other Carpenters Union locals across the state of Iowa rallied to the call to help save what they could in the Paramount Theatre, even if they could not stop the river itself.

“We got a lot of work in this building, and when the call came to protect it, we responded,” Local 308 President Bob Doubek said. Helped by citizen volunteers and theater crews, the carpenters removed 880 main-floor seats to the balcony level, along with historic 90-year old seating end caps. “Anything that was portable at all has been moved from the basement and the main floor,” said Jason Anderson, Paramount’s general manager.

They even disconnected the mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ that was so heavily damaged in the flood of 2008, and moved it out of the theater to safer higher ground outside the city. After the flood of 2008, the Wurlitzer was found upside-down on the opposite side of the stage, having been submerged by floodwaters for more than a week. Cedar Rapidians didn’t want that precious instrument to suffer again.

After everything that could be moved from the basement and main levels had been moved, crews installed a backup emergency generator in the basement to power the theater’s sump pump and air conditioning system, so that when the city cut off grid power, pumps could keep seeping water from rising through the basement level, and keep humidity levels down to avoid damaging all the beautiful fabrics, carpeting, tile and paint in the building.

“We feel that the Paramount is kind of the city’s crown jewel, but I think this proves it,” Anderson said.

Then, over the weekend, with all possible flood protection measures in place, the people of Cedar Rapids could do nothing more than watch and wait as the river reached its crest. But city crews, utility workers, all emergency responders and more than 400 Iowa National Guardsmen kept a 24-hour-a-day watch over the city, monitoring the protections they had put in place, ready to respond if the barriers failed or were overtopped by the raging river.

We watched the daily webcasts each morning from Cedar Rapids as city leaders and others involved in the flood response held a live news conference from downtown. It was truly inspiring to see such an incredible team of dedicated, capable people working so hard to keep Nature at bay and protect the city they so clearly loved.

By Sunday night, September 25th, water in the Cedar River was pouring through the city at the rate of 110,000,000 gallons per minute – more than 35 times the normal rate of 3,000,000 gallons per minute – and increasing at 5-7% per hour. Forecasters had been slowly lowering their crest predictions for the flood, down from an initial call of 25 feet to an eventual crest at 23 feet – still 7 feet above major flood stage and still on track to be the 2nd-worst flood in the city’s history.

Thousands of residents and businesses had been evacuated from the flood zone, and the city had cut electrical and gas service inside the area most threatened if the flood barriers failed. Downtown was quiet and empty, except for a few guests and staff in the DoubleTree Hotel, which remained open throughout the emergency. Everyone watched and waited.

The river crested Monday night at 21.97 feet – down 2.5 feet from the initial crest predictions, and safely below the levels of the HESCO barriers. Throughout the night and all day Tuesday, the raging waters slowly receded. By midday Wednesday, the height of the threat had passed, and the river began returning to its banks.

The barriers had held back the river. The people of Cedar Rapids had saved their city.

There were no major breaches along the 17 miles of emergency flood barriers. Minor breaches were handled almost instantly by city crews, Iowa Guardsmen and contractors using dump trucks of dirt, sand, sandbags and emergency pumps, all standing watch inside the “dry zone” 24/7 since Saturday afternoon.

The U.S. Cellular Center and DoubleTree Hotel – our juggling space and our festival HQ hotel – stayed dry.

The priceless and spectacular Paramount Theatre – our venue for stage shows and championships – stayed dry. The few trickles of water that seeped into the basement sumps were so small that they were picked up by a household Shop-Vac. On Saturday, dozens of carpenters and citizen volunteers quickly responded to the call to re-install all the fixtures they had removed in advance of the flood. A show scheduled in the Paramount Theatre for that night went on as planned.

Most of the NewBo/Czech Village dining and shopping area near our juggling venues were also kept dry, as was the city’s gleaming new Main Library, the beautiful Green Square Park, and all other new city facilities built since the 2008 flood.

The incredible community response and teamwork of the people of this great city accomplished an astounding feat in planning and building a vast system of temporary flood barriers in just three days, and it did its job. Six thousand homes and businesses were evacuated peacefully; there was no looting or unrest and, incredibly – as was the case in the Great Flood of 2008 flood – no fatalities.

These are amazing people in Cedar Rapids. We will be sure to recognize Mayor Ron Corbett, City Manager Jeff Pomerantz, Public Works / Emergency Operations Director Jen Winter and Carpenter’s Local 308 members from the Paramount Theatre stage during the first night of our festival to thank them for the superhuman job they did bringing the city together and saving it for our jugglers to enjoy this summer.

No city is immune from disaster. Whether it’s flood, fire, tornado, hurricane, earthquake, volcano or blizzard, Nature’s immense power can test and often better the seemingly feeble defenses we humans construct. But the combined passion and effort of caring, dedicated people has, time and again, made it possible for life to go on even after such catastrophes happen.

As Mayor Corbett said after the floodwaters receded in late September, “In 2008, the river won. In 2016, the city won.”

To read more about the Flood of 2016, and see photos of the incredible response the people made to save their city, visit the Cedar Rapids Gazette’s Flood 2016 page. Watch a time-lapse video of the Paramount Theatre seats being re-installed after the flood.

Paramount Theatre photo from The Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Montreal – Festival and New Juggling Space, by Don Lewis

Montreal jugglers were disappointed last fall when the existing juggling space at La Caserne became too expensive to afford.  Fortuitously, the Verdun Circus School has recently undergone a major renovation, and was interested in a collaboration.  The regular Sunday afternoon juggling practice is now being held at 5190 Lasalle Boulevard, Verdun, H4H 1N8.  The room is spacious and bright, with views of the river just outside.  There is ample parking, and the space is on the ground floor.  No more trudging up three flights of stairs with a prop bag.

The other great news is that the Verdun Circus School is eager to host the 2017 Montreal Juggling Festival with Les Jongleurs Associés du Québec.  This year, it will be June 16-18, 2017. In the past, the Montreal festival has been a couple of months earlier.  This year we decided to take the available date rather than wait another year.  There is limited space for indoor camping, and possibly space to camp outdoors as well.  There are a lot of good restaurants in the area, a convenient bus route which accesses the Metro, a full sized gym, and a couple of separate workshop rooms.  There will be a show, but it will probably be in the gym rather than a theatre.  Details will become available as the organizers get up to speed with this new opportunity.

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Upcoming juggling festivals

Below is a list of some upcoming juggling festivals. For a list of even more fests, check the worldwide juggling event listings on our website at: dev.juggle.org/events.

To get a festival listed here for free, just drop a note to us at ijanews@juggle.org. Hey, jugglers want to know about juggling fests. Help them out and get more jugglers to your fest at the same time.

39th Annual Atlanta Groundhog Day Jugglers Festival
    3 Feb – 5 Feb 2017
    Yaarab Shrine Center, 400 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 30308 USA

Belfast Juggling Convention
    10 Feb – 12 Feb 2017
    Queen’s University Students’ Union, University Road, Belfast, BT7 1NF UK

Mondo Juggling & Unicycle Festival
    10 Feb – 12 Feb 2017
    275 Syndicate Street, St. Paul, Minnesota USA

Austin Jugglefest XXIV
    24 Feb – 26 Feb 2017
    Seeger Gymnasium, Texas School for the Deaf, 1102 S. Congress Ave, Austin TX 78704 USA

Humboldt Juggling Festival
    17 Mar – 19 Mar 2017
    West Gym of Humboldt State University, Arcata, California USA

40th Annual RIT Spring Juggle IN
    7 Apr – 9 Apr 2017
    RIT, 1 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester NY 14623 USA

Tucson Juggling Festival 2017
    7 Apr – 9 Apr 2017
    11570 N Oracle Rd; Tucson, AZ 85737 USA

British Juggling Convention 2017
    7 Apr – 13 Apr 2017
    Harvey Hadden Sports Village, Bilborough Nottingham, NG8 4PB UK

1° Festival de Malabor en México
    12 Apr – 16 Apr 2017
    Casa Ananda, San Pedro Pareo, Pátzcuaro, Michoacán Mexico

Swedish Juggling Convention 2017
    14 Apr – 17 Apr 2017
    Limmaredsvägen 2, 514 80 Tranemo Sweden (Sverige)

Manipulation 2017
    27 Apr – 30 Apr 2017
    Idyllwild, California USA

Air Raid Juggling Club 1st Annual Juggling Convention
    20 May – 21 May 2017
    Charlottesville, VA USA

Montreal Juggling Festival
    16 June – 18 June 2017
    Verdun, Quebec, Canada

Flatland Juggling Festival 2017
    23 June – 25 June, 2017
    Lincoln, Nebraska USA

70th Annual IJA Juggling Festival 2017 – Cedar Rapids
    10 Jul – 16 Jul 2017
    US Cellular Center Complex, Cedar Rapids, Iowa USA

40th European Juggling Convention, Lublin, Poland
    22 Jul – 30 Jul 2017
    Park Ludowy and in the adjacent Targi Lublin (International Lublin Fair Hall) and MOSiR Sports Center Hall, Lublin, Poland