IJA eNewsletter, February 2017

Editors: Don Lewis and Martin Frost

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  • Chair’s message
  • Welcome Letter from the 2017 IJA Festival Director
  • 70th IJA Juggling Festival, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, July 10-16, 2017
  • Learn about Cedar Rapids, and try to locate 47 hidden juggling terms at the same time
  • Special IJA Festival Features
  • Youth Showcase
  • IJA Joggling World Championships
  • Numbers Championships
  • Stage Championships
  • Stage Championships Hosts
  • Special Guests of the 2017 IJA Festival
  • Festival Registration is open for the historic 70th Annual IJA Festival
  • Vendor Registration
  • 2017 IJA Festival Lodging
  • Getting to the 2017 IJA Festival
  • Roger Montandon, 1918-2017, last of the IJA’s Founders
  • Atlanta Groundhog Day Festival 2017
  • Latest articles in eJuggle
  • Upcoming juggling festivals

Chair’s message, by Nathan Wakefield

One thing we are very thankful for here at the IJA is the generosity of donors. Not only do donations help us keep our operations going, but sometimes anonymous donors opt to fund specific festival items that simply would not be possible otherwise.

Last year, anonymous donors iiWii (“It Is What It Is”) and Unna Med (“unnamed”) made IJA history by funding an increase in Stage Championships prize money of over $30,000!

Though 2016 was a one time deal for a major prize money offering like this, Unna Med has again donated funds to increase this year’s Championships prize money beyond the IJA’s normal contribution.

Speaking of donor money being used at the festival, one of the most talked about new additions from last year was the free brunch. This was a highly successful item, as it not only saved our attendees money (and time) for food but also offered a fun social dining environment to start the day. iiWii funded this function in 2016 and has kindly decided to once again fund brunch this year at the IJA Festival!

Other festival-centric items we’ve had at the IJA festival have been various “Fun Funds” and “Awesomeness Funds” made possible by iiWii and Unna Med, respectively. With these, a certain amount of money is earmarked to enhance the overall enjoyment of the festival. The money is used to pay for extra festival items to make the event more exciting for the festival attendees, rather than simply covering general festival expenses. In the past these funds have added things like: board games, DJ services, obstacle courses, and onsite massage stations.

I’m pleased to announce that Unna Med is funding the Awesomeness Fund once again this year! We are currently assembling a committee of dedicated IJA members to research and make educated spending selections. Just what kind of awesomeness will they come up with? Stay tuned to find out!

Festival registration is now open (see below). See all the details below and on our website.  Come for the brunch and awesomeness, stay for the juggling.

I’m kidding, of course. With all the major things we have lined up for the big seven-zero (see the rest of this eNewsletter), come for whatever reasons make you happy. Just don’t forget to grab a few plates of complimentary hot food and enjoy some extra activities while you’re there!

Thankful for all our wonderful donors,

Nathan Wakefield
IJA Chairman

Welcome Letter from the 2017 IJA Festival Director

Greetings Jugglers,

As this year’s festival director, I started off with good intentions. Hoping to lead the IJA festival along a path of light and love, and bring all the jugglers together again in friendship, I nearly lost my way.

In my quest to make the 70th Anniversary Festival the largest and most impressive one to date, I went too far. I employed minions. I was in cahoots with a secret cabal of super jugglers. I even went so far as to offer free garter snakes.

Jugglers around the world started talking. The whispering and gossip began. I started to hear words like “eccentric” tossed around. Then, the questions from the IJA Board started coming my way:

“Are you nuts?”

“Have you lost your mind?”

“Hey, where can I get one of those free garter snakes?”

I realized in order to lead the IJA Festival out of the fog and into the light, I couldn’t only use my mind, I would also have to use my heart.

Finding my heart was hard since I had left it in San Francisco, but once I located it, I started to throw away all of the outlandish ideas I had been planning. No more Night of 1,000 Jugglers, no more Games of Chainsaw Combat Juggling, and finally no more garter snakes!

I knew it wasn’t the stuff that was important, it was the IJA members and their love of juggling that binds us together.
So, for the IJA Festival’s 70th Anniversary, let us honor the past, embrace the future, and get ready to Feel the Glow.

Your festival director and dry cleaner,
Dan “The Ringdama Guy” Holzman

Learn about Cedar Rapids, and try to locate 47 hidden juggling terms at the same time
  by your 2017 IJA Festival Director and Tour Guide,
 Dan “The Guy Who Writes in Crayon” Holzman

Europeans, Americans, and Renegades don’t pass up this chance to ring me up or contact me down the line about Cedar Rapids’ many arts, culture, and entertainment options.

I’ll shower you with information about the area’s rich cultural heritage and how to walk around and see the 35 local landmarks on the National Register of Historic Places. Take out some time from tossing props to feed your artistic soul and catch the largest Grant Wood collection in the world, jump over to Eldon, Iowa, read columns about his work, and tour the home/studio where he painted “American Gothic”.

Have a ball at Cedar Rapids fun, family-friendly sporting options and music clubs. The area boasts hundreds of city parks with tennis and basketball hoops, zoos with penguins, three beautiful state parks, an amazing fountain, and four county parks that qualify as some of the state’s best – all within just 20 minutes of the Cedar Rapids city limits.

Festivals celebrating torch music, heritage, singles, freedom, the environment, neighborhoods, sweet corn and even mushrooms are thrown throughout the year.

Perhaps you are starting to notice a pattern to this article. Seen from overhead Cedar Rapids’ river seems to cascade shallowly, have radical fish, and flash the sun off its surface, but it has surprising depth, just like the city itself with its luxury flats and ever growing dining choices that include a wide variety of exotic foods, including Poi, red crispy apples, award-winning barbecue, classic and trendy gourmet, and local favorites.

Cedar Rapids has recovered from the flood of 2008 that destroyed several buildings for grinding grain, and caused a terrible mills mess. In fact, the staff at the IJA has often flipped me this question: “do you think we should consider a site swap?” Let me chop that notion off right now. I would raise Cain, and personally claw my way to Cedar Rapids this summer any way possible just so that I May experience the Bliss of friendship at the 70th Annual IJA Juggling Festival and #feeltheglow.

Juggling terms above: Europeans, Americans, Renegades, pass, up, ring, Contact, down, line, shower, walk around, take out, tossing, props, feed, catch, jump over, columns, ball, clubs, tennis, hoops, penguins, fountain, qualify, torch, singles, thrown, pattern, overhead, cascade, radical fish, flash, flats, poi, apples, mill’s mess, IJA, flipped, site swap, chop, Cain, claw, May, Bliss, juggling, glow.


Due to the fact that there are 26 exciting features to announce, and that 26 is very close to the number of letters in our alphabet, I have decided to announce the shows, features, special guests and special workshops in alphabetical order below.

All are subject to change.


Come join local runners and compete in a 5K road race on a USATF-certified course. (The IJA Festival Director himself has never joggled.)

Races in the usual other joggling distances will also be run.  For details see the IJA World Joggling Championships article below.

For information on “Wuggling” which is the sport of juggling and watching TV at the same time, contact: dan @thefestivaldirectorguy.com

(sorry email address may not be operational at time of use)



Apologies to the children. Our aardvarks demanded too much money this year. Maybe next year, kiddos!


Presented by Craig Lewis, owner of Night Owl Circus Arts in Johnson City, TN, and Laura Ernst Kinetic Entertainment.

Aerial workshops are open to all beginners including first-time students! Instructors will work individually with each student and adapt to their level of strength and comfort. In class, you’ll learn many movements in the silks, hammock, and aerial hoop depending on the workshop you choose.

Aerial Workshops
Beginner Aerial Fabric
Beginner Aerial Hammock
Beginner Aerial Hoop
Advanced Aerial Fabric
Advanced Aerial Hammock
Open Aerial Playtime 

(Free Playtime for People with Previous Aerial Experience)

Open to ages 13+. Max 8 students per workshop.
For information and to sign up contact Laura Ernst at:



$1,000 in cash prizes at stake, and 10,000 people to entertain at Cedar Rapids downtown Farmer’s Market. The IJA is seeking four masters of the pitch to step forth and do battle. Each performer will get two shows to pass the hat, with one of those shows being on the judging pitch, where a panel of expert judges will cast votes to select the IJA 2017 Busking Champion.

To be considered for this year’s event, please submit an email with a link to your promotional materials to: festival2017@juggle.org.  There is no entry fee.  Deadline for submitting promo materials is to be announced.




It is only fitting that the highlight of the 70th Anniversary of the IJA Festival is called the “Cascade” of Stars. Like a river flowing with juggling luminaries, this show will shine a light on the brightest stars in the juggling world.

Starring special guests Gena Shvartsman Christiani and Paul Ponce, along with a cast of thousands*.

Directed by Peter Davison.

*Some claims may be exaggerated for theatrical purposes.


Gena Shvartsman was born in Russia on March 2, 1983, and immigrated to the United States in 1991. Her father, Eugene Shvartsman, taught her to juggle when she was almost six years old. Gena is a fourth generation circus performer.  Gena is our 2017 Award of Excellence Winner, has put together a special performance, and will be conducting a free workshop for the 70th Anniversary of the IJA Festival!

Paul Ponce’s act has been a hit in practically any type of venue around the world, from New York to Tokyo, Melbourne to Monte Carlo, Berlin to Los Angeles. One success after another has led this 6th generation performer to a magnificent career starting at age 7, and leading him to perform at some of the most prestigious stages around the world. A high energy act loved by all and seen by millions around the globe.


Rehearsals didn’t go well. We have no competitors. Oops.


For 8 hours over 2 days, professional juggling coach Richard Kennison will offer tips and video feedback on tricks, juggling technique, and proper form. Visit Richard in the coaching lounge and get the expert eye you need to take your juggling skill to new heights.



Welcome to the Museum of Juggling History – the touring exhibit. Here you’ll be able to see pictures of famous jugglers from the past and some of the rarest, most important juggling props in the world. The items in this collection have been donated to, purchased by, or rescued by, David Cain, a professional juggler and juggling historian from Middletown, Ohio. The collection is usually on display in the normal museum setting, located in Middletown, Ohio, but is sometimes displayed as an exhibit at juggling and circus festivals, like this year’s IJA Festival. The purpose of this collection is to preserve the history of juggling through the props that make the art possible.



Erik Aberg will present his long awaited “Definition of Juggling” lecture. Expect standing room only crowds and heated debates. Cold water and fans will be on hand in case it gets too intense.


Non-judgmental discretion advised. 

Not recommended for the close-minded.

Erik will also be giving a lecture on the great juggler Paul Cinquevalli, along with presenting The Juggling History Show with David Cain and Object Episodes with Jay Gilligan.


Need a place to chill out, relax, and take a time out while you’re checking out the latest fads in flow? Experience the Zen manipulation wisdom that only master teachers and performers like Kevin Axtell, Marvin Ong, Jonathan Alvarez, Jeremiah Johnston and Emily Jane Perkulator can teach. Listen to the music, kick back on the bean bag chairs, and juggle lava lamps (oops, let’s scratch that last idea). Come over to the flow zone and #feeltheglow.


Co-hosted by Kevin Axtell and Matt Hall.

Flow and juggling meet head-on in this fast paced show of “light and laughter.” Featuring the talents of:

Jeremiah Johnston
Dan Holzman
Elise Vanpraet
Emily Jane Perkulator
Noel Yee
Jonathan Alvarez
The Diabolo Duo of Alexis Levillon and Victor De Bouvere



Thanks once again to the kindness and wisdom of our anonymous donor iiWii (whoever it is knows that jugglers like to eat), there will be a free buffet brunch taking place Wednesday through Saturday.  Brunch will be in the Bud Light Lounge on the lobby level of the U.S. Cellular Center.

Brunch vouchers are included with all Festival Event Packages and can be purchased on-site for others for $20/day.  Purchase your Event Package by March 15 for the best price and get the free brunch with it.

Please carry any extra food to go inside your stomach.



Friday night get out your glow props* and “glow” out in to the city of Cedar Rapids. Check out the dinner specials offered at the local downtown restaurants, mix and mingle with the local residents, and explore the nighttime charms of the “City of Five Seasons”.

*There will be no fire jam this year. Jugglers are being encouraged to leave their fire equipment at home, and bring illuminated props instead.

This year’s motto when it comes to lit props is: ”If it glows, it throws.”


This year in Cedar Rapids there will be three individual prop competitions: 3 clubs, 3 rings, and 3 balls. Each event will have a 90-second time limit. Jugglers will perform single-prop routines to music of their own choice and be judged on technique, presentation and choreography. Prelims to be announced if needed.  Over $500 in prizes. Not open to competitors using the same prop in any of the Stage Championships (Juniors, Individuals and Teams).


Sponsored by Flying Clipper Juggling Balls


Christian Ruiz de Loreto, a Diabolo manufacturer with a focus on teaching Diabolos through school P.E. programs is looking to create job opportunities for jugglers. Based in California, he is looking to expand his program into other states and is seeking qualified candidates to teach and sell Diabolos for him at schools across the U.S.

Jugglers interested in interviewing with him while at the IJA Festival should have strong skills with one diabolo and at least a basic ability to do two. (You will be required to pass a background check to work in the schools.)

Jugglers interested in this job opportunity can visit Christian at his booth at the 2017 IJA Festival, or get information and set up a job interview in advance by writing to:


After many years of feudal warfare and carnage, Mark Hayward has defeated those who oppose him and has risen to become “The King of Snacks”. Jugglers are encouraged to bring a favorite or local snack from their hometown for the IJA Snack Table, as a token of favor to the one-and-only Mark “The King of Snacks” Hayward.


I would say more, but how can you describe the indescribable? You can’t. I know because I tried, and it was hard to do. So just go and see for yourselves, and then tell me.

Thank you in advance,
Dan Holzman, Festival Director



Peter combines the artistry of a physical comedian, dancer, and National Juggling Champion in a one-of-a-kind performance that transforms the stage into a magical world of motion. Rather than using standard juggling and circus props, Peter finds extraordinary things to do with ordinary objects, which he brings to life as characters in a pantomime, or partners in a dance.



Crack your knuckles and loosen your wrists. The 2017 IJA Festival is looking for some “pinball wizards” to play the silver ball and see if they can beat the IJA’s resident Pinball Ace Richard Kennison and all comers in a Pinball Tournament. Scores will be collected during the week (using juggler selfies with their score), and the finals will be held on Friday night in Downtown Cedar Rapids at The Quarter Barrel Arcade and Brewery.




Jay Gilligan will lead three one-hour workshops entitled “Juggling Junk Food”. These tricks are definitely not part of the four basic food groups, but you will find Jay’s workshop nourishing to your artistic and creative juggling soul.




Alexis Levillon “The Future of Diabolo” The latest tricks and techniques for Diabolo fanatics of all levels. Two one-hour workshops.





Peter Davison will host three one-hour workshops: Stage movement, choreography, and physical theater as applicable to jugglers will be explored. Bring a few basic props of your choice and get ready to move!




Learn how to make your own magnet clubs and more with the wizard of magnets and mystery Ameron Rosvall.



IJA Games Director Brian Koenig, in association with the Laws of Gravity presents: The 2017 Games of the IJA! (So amazing this year that the name has an exclamation point at the end of it.)

Games Under Consideration by the
Galactic Federation of Jugglers

Endurance Games:
Club Balance 5 Ball – 7 Ball – 5 Club
Blind Juggling
Club Passing (8,9,10)
Mixed Prop Endurance

Fun Games:
Best Trick
Worst/Silliest Trick
Diabolo Bucket Toss
Holzman/Sensei Sez
Wheel Barrow Races
Erratic Passing
Fewest Catches of 3 in a Minute
Speed Club Passing
Distance Passing

For more information please visit Brian at his home and knock on his door. Or contact him at: games2017@juggle.org.




The Juggling History Show is a first-of-its-kind presentation at an IJA Festival. Juggling historians and full-time performers Erik Aberg and David Cain have created a show that will resurrect juggling tricks from the past that modern audiences and jugglers have never or rarely seen, and they’ll provide background information about the tricks.

They will also share videos of Bobby May, King Repp, Adanos, Trixie, and others that have never been made public before. Please be sure to join Erik, David, and several special guests for this one-of-a-kind performance.


Proceeds help fund the museum at the festival


As part of an ambitious pursuit to make this year’s IJA the biggest and best festival yet, the International Jugglers Association is joining forces with the Five Seasons Ski Team for the first ever Water Skuggling Workshop!

What in the world is water skuggling? It’s the rare combination of advanced water skiing and advanced juggling, pioneered in 2012 by Doug Sayers and the Five Seasons Ski Team. In the few short collaborations with Doug, and later with Bob and Trish Evans, they’ve done everything from juggling 7 balls, to passing, bounce juggling, and even juggling in a human pyramid.

But there’s so much more that could be done with this concept! We’re looking for a small group of motivated jugglers to think outside the box and open it to the stylistic diversity of modern juggling. Water skiing experience is helpful, but not required. Those who are athletic and have experience with learning balance and stability skills usually learn to ski quickly. However, water skuggling is a multitasking skill, so our students will need to be able to juggle while focusing on skiing.

If you’re selected, you will learn one-on-one from experienced members of the nationally competitive Five Seasons Ski Team, using the best and safest equipment available. And of course, if it’s not on video, it never happened. We’ll be using multiple waterproof GoPro cameras to make sure you have plenty to show off afterwards.

This class will be held at Ellis Park along the Cedar River, about 1.8 miles from the U.S. Cellular Center. Days, times and pricing TBA — contact David Lammers for further information. This is a limited capacity class, so if you’re interested, please either Message David Lammers on Facebook, or email him at: lammersd35@yahoo.com.

For more excitement, find the Five Seasons Ski Team on all major social media, and follow the IJA for more reasons not to miss the historic 70th annual festival, in Cedar Rapids on July 10-16, 2017.



A one-time only IJA Exclusive Event!

Watch as two titans of the variety entertainment world combine their talents into an epic entertainment spectacle of thrills and laughter. See juggling clubs and throwing knives collide when “The Danger Zone” takes the stage.



In 2002 Connie “Paprika” Leaverton and Cindy Marvell joined forces in documenting women jugglers across the globe in the film “Trailblazers, Women Who Juggle.”

In 2013, Paprika continued the project, and went on to film on the Asian Pacific Islands of Tonga where almost all women juggle. Juggling (or Hiko) is also a cultural dance, an ancient song, a sport and a game for women of all ages and has been in their culture for 3000 years.

Join us for partial screenings of both documentaries and a discussion on women and men jugglers from around the world.



XJuggling is the fast paced, non-stop, best trick competition. This is about pushing the limits of creativity and possibility. You’ll see the best jugglers in the world pull off their most incredible, insane, cutting-edge tricks — or crash and burn.

Watch the Highlights video from 2015.

For more info visit xjuggling.com, or contact organizer Jack Kalvan at: xjuggling2017@juggle.org.



The Youth Showcase is a special opportunity for young jugglers up through age 18 or so to present their talents to a supportive audience in a non-competitive environment. If you have a routine that demonstrates your skills but you are not quite ready to compete in the Juniors, this is the show for you. The Youth Showcase is professionally produced with a technical rehearsal. It is presented just before the Juniors Championships. Interested performers, or their parents, should contact Youth Showcase show producer Art Thomas at youthshowcase2017@juggle.org.



The 2017 IJA World Joggling Championships is coming to Iowa on Saturday, July 15, 2017!

This year’s competitions will feature a road race on a USATF-certified 5K course, hosted by Bill Bails of Junction Jugglefest and local sponsors. Following the road race, events will continue at Coe College’s Clark outdoor track, with various shorter distance races and sprints, as well as a relay event.  The Coe College track is at the corner of 14th St. NE and C Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids, 1.1 miles from the U.S. Cellular Center.

The road race will start at 7:30am and will be chip-timed. Jogglers will have transportation to the 5K route, as well as to the Coe College track and back to the main fest venue. The track events are anticipated to take place around 9:30am-12:30pm and will include 3-ball, 5-ball and 7-ball joggling events, which will also be timed for new world records.

Highlights for this year: Two joggling venues, including IJA’s first official 5K road race.

Chip timing for the 5K: You get to run with a chip transponder in your shoe that accurately tracks and reports your performance time. How neat is that?

USATF cerfitied course: This is the second time the IJA is hosting a road race-style event in the last three years, though this time the route is officially certified. This could be your opportunity to set, or witness, a new world record at the IJA Joggling Championships! (https://www.recordholders.org/en/list/joggling.html)

Runners welcome: For the first time, we are encouraging the local running community to join in the IJA’s road race. Runner or joggler, you’ll have the opportunity to win prizes! This is a great opportunity for runners and jogglers to mingle and for the IJA to promote the sport of joggling.  You’ll find it’s a total mind-body workout!

T-shirts and prizes: We are planning the return of some long-requested joggling T-shirts. A limited number will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, and more information on shirts will be made available around May if you have registered online. There will also be surprises for top joggling performers!

The entry fee for jogglers will cover entry to all joggling events (including the 5K road race), snacks, drinks, possible T-shirts (see above) and hours of fun! Joggling keeps your mind sharp, steadies your juggling form and improves endurance, and it’s good for your health in general. Start training now, and we hope to see you at this year’s IJA World Joggling Championships!!

If you are interested in volunteering for this year’s joggling competition (driver, judge, first aid, etc.) or looking for more information, please contact Emily Moore at joggling2017@juggle.org.

Rough Schedule (subject to change):
6:30 or 7am: Buses depart for road race
7:30am: 5K road race begins
8-8:30am: Snacks and drinks, followed by informal awards for road race
8:30-9am: Wrap up race and transportation to Coe College track (corner of 14th St. NE and C Ave. NE)
9am: Track opens, warm up at Coe College for those who have arrived
9:30am: Track events commence
12-12:30pm: Relay and end of track meet
12:30pm: Return to fest site
~4pm: Joggling awards ceremony



The competitors in the IJA Numbers Championships challenge each other as well as all past Numbers champions — and the laws of physics! See who can successfully juggle, individually and in teams, the greatest numbers of balls, clubs, rings and bounced balls. Cash prizes will be awarded, including a special prize for breaking IJA Numbers records.

Individuals interested in competing must read the IJA Numbers Championships Rules.

See the Numbers Directors, Merry Spahr and Scott Cain, at the fest to sign up. Send questions to them at numbers@juggle.org.

The winner of each event will receive a $100 prize. There is an additional $100 bonus for a winning competitor that breaks an IJA record!

Individuals Numbers Events:

  • Individual Balls
  • Individual Rings
  • Individual Clubs
  • Individual Ball Bouncing

Teams Numbers Events:

  • Ball Passing
  • Ring Passing
  • Club Passing
  • Ball Bounce Passing
  • Three-Person Club Passing



All competitors in the IJA Stage Championships (Juniors, Teams and Individuals) must be IJA members and must complete an entry form on the website, pay their entry fee, and submit a link to a video of their actual competition act by May 15. Juniors entrants must be under 18 years of age on July 12, 2017.  Competitors should read the full rules and details on the IJA Stage Championships page. If you have questions, contact the IJA Championships director by email at championships@juggle.org.

For 2017, here’s the Stage Championships prize money for the top three finishers in each event.  Each prize amount listed for Teams is the full amount that will be awarded to the given team, regardless of the number of jugglers in the team.




Josh Casey

Individuals and Teams Host (Thursday, July 13, 2017, Paramount Theatre)
Josh Casey is a juggler and comedian from Madison, WI. He was brought into the world of juggling through Midwest juggling festivals starting 25 years ago. Since then he’s traveled the country with his interactive comedy and juggling show, performing for all kinds of events from family theater shows to corporate events and comedy clubs. To really round our his resume, Josh earned a degree in theater arts and broke the Guinness World Record for “Sitting On the Most Whoopee Cushions in 30 Seconds.” Josh is also a co-founder and board member of the Madison Circus Space.

Tuey Wilson

Juniors Host (Wednesday, July 12, 2017, Paramount Theatre)
Tuey Wilson has been performing for over 35 years and has been a regular at IJA festivals since 1983. He has always had a passion for physical skills and going beyond the usual displays of juggling; he is not your everyday juggler. Tuey is excited to be hosting the Juniors Championships in Cedar Rapids at what is shaping up to be the best festival ever.

SPECIAL GUESTS of the 2017 IJA Festival

Gena Shvarstman Cristiani
, 2017 Award of Excellence Winner!
Paul Ponce
Ameron Rosvall
Peter Davison
Alexis Levillon
Jay Gilligan
Erik Aberg
David Cain
Kevin Axtell
Marvin Ong
Emily Jane Perkulator
The Passing Zone
The Danger Committee
Mantega Cirku
Jonathan Alvarez
Matt Hall

Keith Nelson and Crash: onsite technical support and Renegade Show directors.

More to be Announced!


Advance registration for this year’s festival in Cedar Rapids is now open and closes at 11:59pm ET on June 10, 2017. Early Bird pricing is available through 11:59pm ET on March 15, 2017.

You must be a member of the IJA to register for the Festival. Click here to join or click here to renew your membership.

You can register and pay online with your credit or debit card or with PayPal. No mail-in or phone registration is available.

Only Festival Event Packages, vendor table reservations, Joggling Championships entry fees and IJA Stage Championships entry fees are being sold through advance registration.

All other festival items (additional show tickets, Gym Passes, spectator passes & additional festival T-shirts) will be sold on-site at the festival starting Tuesday morning at 9am.

Note that this year all four Special Workshops are free to registered fest attendees, with no sign-up required.

Lodging, meals and transportation are not included. Please make your travel plans as soon as possible to secure the best rates and availability. See the “Lodging” and “Getting There” sections below for details.

FESTIVAL EVENT PACKAGES: Festival Event Packages include gym admission all through the week (including all regular festival workshops), a hot brunch buffet Wednesday-Saturday mornings, a festival T-shirt, a ticket to each of the evening shows in the Paramount Theatre, access to watch all regularly-scheduled events in the gym and other indoor festival venues.

VENDOR EVENT PACKAGE ADD-ON: Available ONLY to IJA Vendor Discount Program (VDP) members. This $99 add-on to a Vendor Set-Up includes all the items from the Festival Event Package above. Limit two Add-Ons per vendor.

ADDITIONAL SHOWS at U.S. CELLULAR CENTER: Tickets to the four additional special shows held at the U.S. Cellular Center will be sold during the festival at the IJA registration desk and at the door for $10 each.


  • Early Bird: through 11:59pm ET on March 15, 2017: Adult $199 / Youth $149 / Youth Group $99
  • Regular: March 16th through 11:59pm ET on June 10, 2017: Adult $249 / Youth $199 / Youth Group $99
  • On-site at the festival: Adult $279 / Youth $229

Register now for an Event Package.

Go to this page in the IJA Store to purchase vendor tables, other vendor items, and Joggling and Stage Championships entry fees.

Price list for all advance and on-site items (PDF)

Tentative schedule for the IJA Festival (PDF)

Full IJA Festival website


Each vendor must purchase a minimum of one Vendor Set-Up at $50 which includes one 6’ table, two chairs and Wi-Fi Internet access. The set-up fee is waived for IJA Vendor Discount Program (VDP) participants. Additional 6’ tables are available for $50 each. Electrical drops are available for $75 per drop. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve early.

During advance registration, IJA Vendor Discount Program (VDP) members may also purchase, with a Vendor Set-Up order, a Vendor Event Package for $99 that includes all the items of the Festival Event Package. Limit 2 per VDP vendor.

Vendor space will not be sold on-site at the festival. You must order your vendor space before 11:59pm ET on June 10th, 2017. For more information, email Vendor Coordinator Cheryl Sayers at vendors2017@juggle.org. Click this link to purchase vendor items.


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).

  • Route map of non-stop destinations to/from CID
  • Real-time flight status for flights at CID today
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.

Roger Montandon, 1918-2017, last of the IJA’s Founders,
by David Cain

The IJA has lost its last founding member, Roger Montandon, who passed away on January 21, 2017. Even before the IJA was formed, Roger Montandon was the leader in trying to connect jugglers to one another. Starting in 1944, Roger published The Juggler’s Bulletin each month, which had news, discussions, tips, photos, description of acts, information on new props, and the latest gossip. This was the first establishment of a real juggling community. Roger was born in 1918 and started out doing a magic act in 1933 and added juggling shortly thereafter. Though never a full-time professional performer, he was a collector of books on juggling, as well as props, greeting cards, cartoons, and anything else on the subject. He was a great resource for jugglers for decades. Roger was the last surviving founding member of the IJA. He was one of the eight jugglers who met for lunch on June 17, 1947 following the juggling session at the International Brotherhood of Magician convention in Pittsburgh, PA and formed the International Jugglers’ Association. (Of the five additional charter members who ratified the by laws, only Bobby Jule is still alive.) …

Pictured at right are the IJA Founders, with Roger front and center.

You can read the rest of David Cain’s substantial obituary for Roger Montandon on eJuggle.

Atlanta Groundhog Day Festival 2017, by Charles Shapiro

One hundred and eighty-eight registered jugglers attended the Groundhog Day Jugglers Festival, held in the Yaarab Shrine Center in downtown Atlanta February 3-5, 2017. Friday night opened with a substantial crowd as props filled the air, old friends embraced, and new passing patterns evolved.

In response to recent events, a sign reading “Estimated Attendance: 1.5 Million” somehow appeared beneath the stage. One pair of jugglers did at least a few rounds of a 10-club passing pattern. Others worked on boxes, canes, diabolos, devil sticks, spinning tops, and other props. Food this year was exceptionally good, the work of a some able Oriental cooks who looked us up instead of someone picked by the Shriners or solicited by the Atlanta Jugglers Association.

The Saturday afternoon games were hosted by Spencer Schwab. Cameron Ritter won the 3-ball Simon Says over more than 20 contestants. Max Housman took the blind 3-ball juggling prize. Perennial winner Jimmy Robertson won the club balance, performing his famous Seal Roll only after victory was assured. Ted Joblin took the Club Crown trophy (three interlinked clubs worn on the head while performing various stunts ranging from the bizarre to the insane). Zak McAllister won the Quarter Juggling competition, carrying home a good amount of change for his efforts. Christian Kloc and Matt Swope took the 7-club passing challenge, in which randomly paired jugglers compete for time juggling 7 club doubles. Zak McAllister also took the prize in the 5-ball endurance competition. Max Poff won the Ball Combat competition with a brilliant short-range ripost on Zak McAllister after it was down to two. Jacob Tichenor took first in the club combat competition.

The Groundhog Day Juggling Competition was opened as always by the Seed and Feed Marching Abominable Band, which played 6 numbers: In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Brooklyn, Sweet Home Chicago, Malaguena, Gimme Some Lovin’, and Soul Bossa Nova. Brandon Ross MCed the show.

Six jugglers competed for the coveted Groundhog Trophies, which this year were “Most Kewl”, “Most Swell”, and “Most Fantabulous”. Zak McAllister went first with an act featuring a 5-ring pancake cascade, a six-ring cascade to pull-down, a 4-object Saturn Trick, and numerous others ball and ring tricks. Much of it was choreographed to “La Maquina de Escribir”, a piece composed for orchestra and manual typewriter. His performance won him the “Most Swell” prize. Sean Petric’s hat tricks, red vest, 3-club and 3-ring routines, and finale trick of a 5-ball juggle atop a balance ball garnered the “Most Fantabulous” prize. Body builder and juggler Cameron Ritter won “Most Kewl” for his chin-up with club balance, 3 to 5 club routine, and barbell chin balance. Also notable was Christian Kloc’s dropless and near-flawless club routine, culminating in a lengthy 5-club cascade to 3-up pirouette.

The Saturday night Cabaret was MCed by Andy Ford. Nine performers entertained, including past winners Larry Vaksman and John Nations, magician Dan Garrett, local Meredith Gordon and former local Jonathan Perry. Highlights included Andy Ford’s new ring tricks, Dan Garrett’s “Magic White Board” trick, and Christian Kloc’s wonderful ball bounce routine with 3, 4, 5 and 7 balls.

The official post-groundhog day dinner included 14 people in a nearly empty restaurant during the glorious run-up to Atlanta’s eventual defeat in the Super Bowl. We got an impromptu violin concert before breaking up around 9pm to head back to the hard, cold world.

2017 Phil winners:
Most Fantabulous — Sean Petric
Most Swell — Zak McAllister
Most Kewl — Cameron Ritter

Games Winners:

3-ball Simon Says: Cameron Ritter
Blind juggling Max Housman
Club Balancing Jimmy Robertson
Club Crown Ted Joplin
Quarter juggling Zak McAllister
7 Club passing Christian Kloc / Matt Swope

Huggling Ted Joblin / Max Housman
5 Ball endurance Zak McAllister
Ball combat juggling Max Poff
Club combat juggling Jacob Tichenor

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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.

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