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Columbus’ Jest Jugglers Creating a Space for Juggling Since 1970s

Randi Walle Randi Walle Columbus’ Jest Jugglers Creating a Space for Juggling Since 1970sAll photos by Randi Walle.
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Columbus is home to many things – great football, hot new restaurants, and a booming art scene. A lesser-known but equally as interesting fact is that Columbus lays claim to the oldest and longest-running juggling group. The Jest Jugglers of Columbus have been around since the 1970s, practicing the art of juggling.

Contrary to assumptions, the members of the group are not performing clowns. In fact, the group labels themselves as “hobbyist jugglers,” practicing and perfecting the art for fun. The group demonstrate their skills annually at the Circleville Pumpkin Show, and some members travel to quarterly conventions for workshops, competitions, and shows.

The members of the Jest Jugglers are from all walks of life, from doctor to construction worker to high school student. Some members have been coming for as little as a year, others have been coming for more than 20 years. In addition to juggling rings, balls, and clubs, members also practice other unique hobbies such as yo-yo, diablo, and unicycle. A few members even combine unicycling and juggling (occasionally blindfolded!).

The group is free and open to the public, and they meet every Thursday evening at the Adventure Center at the Franklin Park Conservatory, practicing outside during warm weather inside during the colder months. No prior experience is necessary; members are ready to help newbies master the skills through coaching and practicing.

For more information about the Jest Jugglers, visit jestjugglers.com.


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