Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A better-than-fair day at the fair

Despite being regular fair-goers, when the PNE celebrated its centenary last year, we somehow managed to not get there. But yesterday we made up for it and as a reward, even the weather cooperated.

The food is always a highlight (little doughnuts, soft ice cream, perogies…), but this year the real treat was the performances we saw.

Chris Isaak and his always-hotshot band rocked a sea of people out under the stars (we even got to see the space station fly over).

The night’s tribute band Revolver peformed the music of the Beatles. I liked the fact that they didn't try to look like the original Fab Four (what could be worse than middle-aged men in tired wigs?) but offered some remarkable renditions of the songs.

For me, a dyed-in-the-wool survivor of Beatlemania, it was very cool to overhear snippets of conversation on the midway, especially from teenagers: “Hey, that’s a Beatles’ song!” Yep, the Beatles remain a band that’s pretty enduring. Nyah nyah to those all those dorky guys who used to criticize my girlfriends and me for loving the Beatles -- I guess we didn’t have such bad taste in music after all.

But the best show of the evening was another PNE freebie, the Peking Acrobats. As would be expected, all the acrobats were lean and fit and omigod-flexible; they'd probably been in training since they were tiny children.

The fellow balanced on top of all those chairs managed a number of stunts once he was up there. (To note: the legs of the lowest chair were balanced on four bottles that looked like they might have once held champagne; those in turn were on top of a very tall table).

After tilting the topmost chair, balancing it on only one of its legs, he then did a single-handed handstand while extending his legs most elegantly.

It must have taken years to become so skilled (and apparently, fearless).

As for me, I figure I’m doing well if I can balance on one leg while I’m reaching for a casserole dish on the top shelf of the cupboard.

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