Jugglers, unicyclists, acrobats and other performance
artists will unite today at 6 p.m. in Robertson Gym to
launch the 35th annual Isla Vista Juggling Festival & Public
The longest running juggling festival in the world, the
event is put on every year by the UCSB Juggling Club and
Santa Barbara Juggling Association to honor the life of
21-year-old UCSB student Patty Laney, a local juggling
enthusiast who was raped and murdered in 1977. The
festival has raised funds for the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis
Center every year since Laney’s death.
On Jan. 18, 1977, Laney went missing on her way home
from a rehearsal for her first public juggling performance.
She was last seen alive that day at the Hollister and
Patterson Avenue bus stop. Her body was later found in
Refugio Canyon in Goleta, showing signs of sexual assault
and violence.
The three-day-long carnival will include a show featuring
professional jugglers Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Isla Vista
Theater. Festivities will continue throughout the weekend
until Sunday at 5 p.m. in Rob Gym.
Juggling Club President Matthew Guidry said the
event not only cherishes Laney’s memory but provides a
lighthearted setting for performance artists.
“This has always been a benefit festival for the Santa
Barbara Rape Crisis Center in memory of Patty Laney, but
it’s also a great way for jugglers all over the place to gather,”
Guidry said.The event is open to all participants regardless of
juggling aptitude.
“Everyone is welcome, people with little to no experience
are welcome to come and learn. Just come down and have
fun with us,” Guidry said. “We’ll be having open juggling
and workshops to teach juggling to those of all levels. There
will be a variety of acrobatic acts there, as well, for everyone
to enjoy.”
Elsa Granados, Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center executive
director, said the fundraiser promotes rape prevention and counseling programs.“We can be reached at our phone hotline 24 hoursa day and we are open to walk-ins 24 hours a day, 365days a year,” Granados said. “Services are provided to thesurvivors of sexual assault as well as their loved ones andongoing counseling is a part of the work we do daily.”Aside from sexual assault prevention, the Rape CrisisCenter offers other community outreach opportunities.“We do a lot of outreach and education in thecommunity through schools and civic organizations,”Granados said. “The public juggling show at Saturdaynight is a family event where all community members arewelcome and all proceeds from the show help us continuewhat we do.”The festival is free, but the Saturday night show costs$10 for adults and $5 for children, students and seniors.All proceeds will be donated to the Santa Barbara RapeCrisis Center.Visit www.dailynexus.com for the festival event shedule.