You'll find jugglers, unicyclists, hoopers, kendama, live music and family fun for all ages at the annual Groundhog Day Jugglers Festival. Know how to juggle? Want to pick up a few new tricks? Just like to watch and maybe learn how to juggle? Check out the fun at previous festivals. Ask at the registration table if you'd like a free juggling lesson. We're always happy to teach others.
Competition for the famous PHIL award happens Saturday at 2 PM. Rules for the juggling competition are simple -- each competitor has 4 minutes, anything goes (NO FIRE!). Judges are selected from the audience and their only qualification is "no knowledge of juggling".
Competitor must be registered for the festival and must sign up and pay for the competition ($5) before the cut-off time which is noon on Saturday (or when 12 have signed up). The first 12 competitors are guaranteed a slot, we have two stand-bys in case someone drops out last minute--if show time allows, we let all 14 compete but cannot guarantee the stand-bys. Sign-up starts at 10 AM on Saturday. No sign-ups on Friday night.
Time limit is 4 minutes. Presentation must be on the stage which is (unfortunately) carpeted and there must be juggling (manipulating more objects than hands used) at least once in the 4-minute routine.
Music on CD or thumb-drive (mp3 format) must be presented at the competitors meeting at 1 PM on Saturday --that is where you'll find out what music the other competitors plan to use--nothing keeps anyone from using any music, even if someone else is using the same. Just remember this is a family event and choose appropriate music for children to hear.
At the end of the competition the three judges retire for a maximum of 10 minutes to decide three winners. Judges assign the appropriate category (Most Amazing, Most Stupendous, Most Spectacular, etc -- changes every year) to the winner.
See the list of past PHIL winners.
The Seed and Feed Marching Abominable band opens the show on Saturday at 2 PM. The juggling competition is a free show and lasts about an hour or so. The judges confer after all the competitors finish and we award the trophies at the end of the show. Registered jugglers have a chance to win some great door prizes during the show/competition.
Unicycle polo will take place in the parking lot (weather permitting) on Saturday and/or Sunday. All participants must be registered for the festival.
The Late Night Cabaret will be Saturday night at 10 PM at the Yaarab Shrine Center. Anyone who wants to perform please let us know when you register (theater and show details) or contact Bruce Plott who is in charge of the show. Admission is $10 (free for registered jugglers). Tickets are available at our registration table at the Yaarab Shrine Center on Friday or Saturday.
The Light Extravaganza happens at 9 PM in the courtyard of the Yaarab Shrine Center. Bring your lighted props and come play outside before the late night cabaret begins (weather permitting). NO FIRE this year because our insurance won't allow it.
- Date and Hours
- Feb 6-8, 2015
Gym hours are:
- Friday: 5 - 10 PM
- Saturday: 10 AM - 10 PM
- Sunday: 11 AM - 5 PM
- Saturday 10 PM -- Late Night Cabaret
- Saturday 10 PM -- Late Night Cabaret
- Other scheduled activities
- Saturday 12 noon -- Juggling Games
- Saturday 4-9 PM -- Workshops
The public is invited to watch the activities in the gym anytime. There are no scheduled activities or shows for Friday or Sunday.
- On Saturday at noon we will have juggling games with trophies for the winners. Spencer Schwab will run the games. Here are the games planned:
- 3 Ball Simon Says
- 5 Ball Endurance
- Club Balancing
- Club Crown
- 7 Club Passing
- Blind Juggling
- Saturday 4 PM -- 3 ball beginner
- Saturday 5 PM -- TBA
- Saturday 6 PM -- TBA
- Saturday 7 PM -- TBA
- Saturday 8 PM -- TBA
- WE HAVE A GREAT LOCATION THIS YEAR (same as the last few years) ...... a huge gym with a smooth tile floor and lots of lights!!! All festival events will be held at the same place this year, including the Late Night Cabaret and Light Extravaganza.
DIRECTIONS: Take Interstate 75/85 (the Connector downtown) to Freedom Parkway exit and go east on the parkway until you reach Ponce de Leon Ave. Turn left and go about a mile to the Yaarab Shrine Temple on your right. Look for the JUGGLING signs. We're in the recreation building in the back. Here's a picture of the front of the building.
Park for free in the Yaarab Shrine parking lot. The lot often fills up on Saturday afternoon before the competition/show so come early and/or allow time to find other parking. There is more parking at the Ponce de Leon Center on Hunt St. directly across from the Shrine Center.
- MARTA is still the cheapest way to get around town. For only $2.50 you can catch a train from the airport, but don't forget to get a bus transfer. The closest station is North Ave. Walking Instructions: Go east on North Ave., left on Piedmont Ave., then right on Ponce de Leon Ave. (about 8-9 city blocks)
You can't hail a CAB in this town, you must call for a pickup. Rapid Taxi at 404-222-9888 runs 24 hours a day.
- Registration for the entire weekend is $30 for festival participants (jugglers, unicylists, yo-yoists, hoopers, etc.) to cover operating expenses (hall rental, custodial fee, insurance, etc.). Registration fee includes a raffle ticket for prizes (given away at the Saturday afternoon competition) and admission to the Late Night Cabaret.
Registration to enter the juggling competition on Saturday is $5.
Admission is free to spectators and the public at large for all daytime events at the Yaarab Shrine Center. Tickets for the night cabaret are $10 per person for the public.
Please bring cash or a check for payment. We cannot accept credit cards. Here's a map of ATMs nearby.
- Commemorative Groundhog Day Jugglers Festival t-shirts will be available.
- FRIG-N BBQ will sell food, snacks and drinks on all 3 days of our festival this year. They will offer barbeque, ribs, corndogs, pasta salad and assorted side dishes, snacks, and drinks.
- Yerba maté and snacks will be available in the break room throughout the festival for all registered festival participants.
- Here's a list and map of nearby restaurants You can print the PDF files from here or we'll have copies on the registration table.
- The following vendors were at our festival last year and will be invited again this year. (We're adding more vendors to this page as they respond to our request.) You can call or email the folks selling juggling equipment in advance to request that they bring a particular item. This would save the cost of shipping and handling.
- Forged Creations - fire props
- Infinite Works - juggling props, performance props and skill toys
- Laughing Dragon Swords and Toys
- Big Apple Circus
- The Complete Fool - flower sticks, poi, beanbags, hoops, hats, bags, ribbons, valentines, diabolos, clubs, acrylic balls
- Abbie the Face Painter
- For More Information
- Please do not call the Yaraab Shrine Center....they don't have any more info about the festival.
- Travel Information and Atlanta Attractions
- Here's a website showing hotels nearby.
- Here's a list of hotels starting with the closest ones to the main festival location at the Yaraab Shrine Center.
- Atlanta International Hostel -- 223 Ponce de Leon Ave, Atlanta 30308, 404-875-9449 (0.3 miles from festival)
- Hotel Indigo -- 683 Peachtree St, Atlanta 30308, 404-874-9200 (0.7 miles from festival)
- Highland Inn -- 644 Highland Ave, Atlanta 30312, 404-874-5756, 888-256-7221 (1.4 miles from festival)
- Days Inn -- downtown Atlanta -- 300 Spring St NW, Atlanta 30308, 404-523-1144, 800-329-7466 (1.7 miles from festival)
- Quality Hotel Downtown -- 89 Luckie St, Atlanta 30303, 404-524-7991 (2 miles from festival)
- Super 8 MotelCountry Inn and Suites-- 800 Sidney Marcus Blvd, Atlanta 30324, 404-949-4000 (4.2 miles from festival)
- downtown Atlanta -- 1641 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta 30309, 404-873-5731, 800-800-8000 (2.6 miles from festival)
- Decatur -- 917 Church St, Decatur 30030, 404-378-3765 (5.2 miles from festival)
- Comfort Inn Downtown South -- 795 Pollard Boulevard, Atlanta 30315, 404-658-1610 (4.3 miles from festival)
- Holiday Inn Conference Center -- 130 Clairemont Ave, Decatur 30030, 404-371-0204 (5.4 miles from festival)
- Red Roof Inn Atlanta - Buckhead -- 1960 N Druid Hills Rd NE, Atlanta 30319, 404-321-1653 (5.6 miles from festival)
- Courtyard by Marriott -- 1236 Executive Park Dr NE, Atlanta 30329, 800-321-2211, 404-728-0708 (5.8 miles from festival)
- Microtel Buckhead -- 1840 Corporate Blvd NE, Atlanta 30329, 800-771-7171, 404-325-4446 (5.9 miles from festival)
- Quality Inn Northeast -- 2960 N.E. Expressway I-85 @ Shallowford Rd. exit 93, Atlanta 30341, 770-451-5231, 800-228-5151 (11.4 miles from festival)
- Groundhog Day History and Facts