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Park performances ignite interest

By Bill Samuel

Krazy K ignites the crowd's interest at Benson Park on July 4th. Bill Samuel photo

More than 100 people were surrounded by jugglers, clowns and entertainers Sunday afternoon at the first Picton Performances in the Park event.
Jugglers from Zero Gravity Circus, Pockets the Clown and face painting by Chris opened for Luther Wright’s Hootenanny Revue featuring Emily Fennel, Jenny and Dan Whitley. The show was the first of a series of nine Sunday events scheduled over the rest of the summer at Benson Park in Picton.
Krazy “K” echoed the sentiments of all the Zero Gravity Circus performers when he commented on the friendly people and the beauty of town. This was Krazy’s first visit to Picton, but said it won’t be his last.
“It’s a real adrenaline rush for both audience and myself,” he said. “The people really enjoy the performance.”
The Picton Business Improvement Association and the Prince Edward Arts Council partnered with the County and the Province of Ontario to sponsor the performance program. The BIA wanted to find a way to bring people downtown on Sunday.
“We want to encourage the community to use the park space,” said Roni Summers Wickens, BIA executive director. “Making the arts accessible for everyone is important.Keeping the show free of charge allows anyone to attend regardless of their financial situation and encourages parents to bring the kids. We see this as a good way to help keep the community interacting with businesses.”

On Sunday, July 11 The Frere Brothers and Suzanne Pasternak will perform a fun-filled program designed for kids of all ages with plenty of audience participation.
July 18 the Marysburgh Mummers will present an afternoon of family oriented theatre. The Jamie Stever Band is set for July 25 and Canadian Idol winner Ryan Malcom will share the stage with the kids and faculty from The Kids Performing Arts Initiative 2010 Rock Camp on August 1st.
David Finkle’s Heritage Trio, Northern Voices will bring old songs from Canada’s historical landscape, Metis fiddling and native drumming to the stage August 11.
Picton Performances in the Park are collaborating with The Jazz Festival in presenting jazz and “jazz-hop” shows August 15 and 22. The renowned Canadian Jazz Quartet plays August 15 from 2-4 p.m. There will be a double bill on August 22 with a very special show aimed at teens with Ron Westray’s “Jazz Hop”from 1-3 p.m. and The Blair Yarranton Quartet from 3-4 p.m.
Picton Performances in the Park wraps up with a foot stomping Fiddle Fest featuring internationally acclaimed Zeke Mazurek and Josh Colbly on fiddle with Judy Fraser on guitar and vocals.

Juggler Jumping Jack Point entertained in Benson Park on Sunday. Bill Samuel photo

Krazy "K" demonstrates juggling for Joseph Lester, 4, of Picton. Bill Samuel photo

“We are all so excited about this series,” says Summers Wickens. “There really has never been anything like this before in the County,” says event coordinator, Mary Sinclair. “It is such a wonderful opportunity for the residents of the County to see and hear such accomplished performers for free”.
“This is a fantastic community event,” adds Barry Braun, Commissioner of Recreation Parks and Culture. “Not only will it bring people to Picton, but it is a great opportunity to showcase our downtown on Sunday afternoons”.

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