Friday, April 20 , 2018, 9:13 pm | Fair 55º


Something Ridiculous Juggling Duo to Toss Up Fun, Surprises at Santa Maria Strawberry Festival

Comedic timing, athletic ability and a knack for entertaining audiences created Something Ridiculous, a wildly energetic juggling duo that will keep audiences on their toes during the Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival.

A new addition to the festival this year, the Something Ridiculous jugglers take juggling to a whole new level. Literally. These guys will climb ladders, hop atop unicycles — or even on one another’s shoulders — and juggle anything they can get their hands on as they stroll throughout the grounds during the festival.

Mark Wilder and Jonathan Nowaczyk, AKA Von Jon, make up the Something Ridiculous juggling team. They’ve performed at various events around the Central Coast and all over the state.

Based in San Luis Obispo County, Wilder has been unicycling as a hobby for more than 10 years. He discovered his knack for entertaining large audiences during his time as a mascot for Evergreen State College in Washington. His performing career didn’t begin, however until 2010 when he learned to juggle. He quickly realized it was his calling and he has been performing juggling acts, practicing with a local juggling group and unicycling club, and teaching anyone who will try, ever since.

Von Jon specializes in juggling and the unsupported ladder, but has an extensive list of other acts and skills including: face balancing, partner acro-balancing, fire manipulation, stilt-walking, rolling globe, acrobatics, miming, clowning, and Chinese pole.

The 28th annual Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival “Carnival Lights & Strawberry Delights,” takes place April 24-26. Check out this year’s new attractions like Puzzle-mania, Ken Garr’s amazing strolling magic show and the crazy juggling antics of the Something Ridiculous jugglers. Visit some kid favorites like the Great American Petting Zoo, pony rides and the SUN Extreme Sports Zone. Don’t forget to bite into some of the tastiest strawberries in the country.

The festival kicks off with the Strawberry Queen coronation at 7 p.m. Friday, April 24. That day is also Seniors Day with all seniors 62 and older receiving free admission. On Saturday, April 25, the younger set gets the special treatment with Kids Day and admission just $1 for youth, ages 6 through 11. The festival wraps up with Fiesta Day on Sunday, April 26 featuring Hispanic entertainment.

General admission is $9; $7 for youth; and $6 for seniors. Children 5 and younger are free.

The festival is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Carnival wristbands are $28 at the festival. Festival attendees can buy one wristband and get one free from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, April 24 for $28. Riders must be present at time of purchase.

For additional information, click here or Like us on Facebook.

— Shelly Cone represents the Santa Maria Fairpark.

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