Welcome! Ah yes, I see you are here for the spectacular wonderment of Cirque du Yelp. Unfortunately, you are too late; the curtain has risen and fallen. But come, let me take you through what you missed – the greatest show on Earth!
Over 500 yelpers made their way into The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center, a beautiful once-library that now houses grand art and specular performances. Two floors of wonderment filled the night as people watched, laughed, ate, drank and were amazed.
And how could they not be, with the sights to see. Guests stared in disbelief at the magic of Guinness World Record holding magician Tom James and the inflated surprise work of internationally known balloon artist Vicky Kimble. Many were zombified (in caricature form) by the great Gorgeous Gore Art or got their picture drawn by John Sebastian. A grand stilt walker and juggler from The Cincinnati Circus towered throughout the event and Irish tarot card reader Patricia Garry let people into their future. To top it all off, guests were treated to hair feathering, henna tattoos and amazing face painting by the legendary Fabulous Faces by Jen. A sight to see!
And let us not forget The League of Cincinnati Steampunk’s tent of curiosities, filled with weapons, clothes and artifacts from the world round.
“Gypsies, balloons and stilts, oh my! Yep, we hit a freaky version of Oz!” Trisha K exclaimed.
Of course, that much spectacle was bound to work up an appetite. Before anyone could walk in, they were treated to amazing pizza from Firesize Pizza and Goetta from Glier’s Goetta, both who set up giant stands outside. Making their way through the event, guests devoured delicious eats from City Barbecue, Crock of Love, Dilly Café, FB's, Grandma Debbie's Kitchen, Roxy's, The Skinny Pig and Taste of Belgium.
Some crowd favorites?
“- Bacon Wrapped Dates from FBs, Waffles from Taste of Belgium and Curried Pumpkin Pie Soup from Skinny Pig. My favorite things!” Jon C let us know.
“- Crock of Love: Who knew something so savory could come from a crock pot! Perfect for our cold, autumn day.
- Roxy's: Shrimp wrapped in shredded wheat with spicy mayo - YUM! Plus they had stuffed mushroom caps, one of my favorite veg.
- Donna's Gourmet Cookies: Donna is just as sweet as her cookies, which made me melt with the first bite. I really enjoyed talking to her,” Paige M pointed out.
Paige is right, of course. Let us not forget the desserts, for what would a carnival be without sweets? Yelpers indulged in local favorites like Donna's Gourmet Cookies, PhroZen, Sugar Cupcakery, SugarPlums Cupcakery, Sweet Peace Bakery, Sweet Petit Desserts and Yagööt! It was a fantasy world of frosting the likes of which have never been seen. Ann L was like a kid in a candy store: “Sugar Cupcakery with moist delicious chocolate cupcakes and SugarPlums Cupcakery with their caramel apple? OMG, divine sweet tooth satisfaction.”
To wash it all down and take it all in? Why, only the finest of spirits and ales. Christian Moerlein, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, Middle West Spirits and Wild Scotsman Whisky all served up drink after drink. And for those looking for a libation without the kick, Coffee Emporium and vitaminwater were on hand to dish out.
Ah, but what of the atmosphere? Well, it was as lively as they come, thanks to the plethora of amazing performances! The night kicked off with two Clifton Heights Music Festival bands, the experimental Healing Trapeze, followed right into rock band SHADOWRPTR, all being oversaw by a talented engineer from ICB Audio.
In between the sets, a DJ from Queen City Crates played a mix of old-school funk and fast-paced rock to keep things running and rolling.
The night culminated with a Queen City Cabaret show on the main stage. Zahara’s Tangled Web did (and then taught) belly dancing to the crowd. Following, The Pickled Brothers Sideshow made the audience gasp by juggling knives and laying on beds of nails. They even brought audience members up to participate in the act, like Alycia D, who loved “stabbing a Pickle Brother in the face!”
The event finally went up in flames, quite literally, with a surprise fire dancing performance by the amazing Dante’s Gypsy Circus. Two dancers used ignited wands and ropes to dance on the grass outside, to the delight of the crowd.
So what did guests have to say about the whole thing?
“This was fantastic! The music and performers were great! I enjoyed the juggling, sword swallowing, belly dancers. The fire belly dancing finale was a great finale. The traveling juggler on stilts definitely made the carnival theme and the costumes really made this a fun event," Glenn C declared.
And Robert M sums it up a little more succinctly: “Clearly the best event of the year so far.”
But don’t just take our word on the grandeur of it all, you can read all the reviews right here. You can also check out the other awesome pics by photographer extraordinaire Gardner Photography and Design on the Official Yelp Flickr page.
Till next time.
Alex S, Yelp Community Manager