Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Machetes, a creepy carousel, and ice cream

May 22, 2010 · No Comments

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival is made up of a series of classical music, contemporary music, contemporary performance, and family events.  On May 15, I went to visit and experience the Festival Garden Party that occurred in “Festival Gardens” in Chapelfield Gardens.  Having a rather limited budget, this event was particularly attractive to me due to the large range of free performances that were being put on.

Upon entering the Gardens, it was pretty clear that this was an event geared towards families.  There were stalls selling sugary snacks, brightly colored banners and costumes, and a number of performances.  After wandering around the site, I decided to watch Pete Dobbing, an entertainer with a quick sense of humor.  He began his act by balancing a ladder on his chin, followed by juggling various objects, solving a Rubik Cube in under a minute and a half, and, my personal favorite, climbing a straight ladder backwards with no support and juggling machetes on top of it.  While his act was impressive, it was obviously aimed at families.  (However, any person brave enough to climb a ladder in a kilt certainly gets bonus points from me!

Pete Dobbing juggling machetes on a ladder

Pete Dobbing juggling machetes on a ladder

In addition to Dobbing’s performance, there was an interactive wooden carousel that would have scared me as a small child, a puppet-like show, and free dance lessons.  There was also music playing and people all around were genuinely enjoying one of the first beautiful days of spring.  In fact, when I spoke to several festival staff, they all commented on the glorious weather being one of the main reasons for the hundreds of people in attendance.  On talking to the man in charge of one of the ice cream carts (purely research purposes, I assure you) he mentioned that they had been selling a lot more product than they had anticipated.  The family atmosphere, free performances, and the beautiful weather all helped contribute to the cultural experience that was the Festival Garden Party.

Slightly creepy interactive wooden carousel

Slightly creepy interactive wooden carousel

Festival Garden Party – 3 hours

Total Time – 12 hours

Categories: Kelley
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