Tuesday, August 26, 2008
When I think of last weekend's Orton Park Festival, I remember these balloons, floating gently like a dream. They balloons hovered above the Cycropia Aerial Dance venue, where the ensemble had rigged their apparatus from a large, spreading oak at the west end of the park. The artificial moons cast a serene, pearly light over the park. As the performances began, the illuminated balloons dimmed to a warm, magical glow.
We seemed to be in an enchanted forest as Cycropians emerged in their mysterious and dazzling costumes. The aerialists swooped and glided and turned gracefully in the air, defying gravity, combining elements of dance and acrobatics. I wished I were shooting video. Still photography just couldn't do justice to their fluid grace.
Eventually, the three moons brightened and once again turned the night into a magical moonscape. An unforgettable scene. I'll always think of it as the Three Moons Festival.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Believe it or not, this is a bike race -- sort of. Olin Park was where the bikers shed their shoes and scaled this inflatable slide thingie. It was all part of Sunday's Urban Assault Ride -- a combination free-form bike race, obstacle course and scavenger hunt, in which two-person teams chart their own routes between checkpoints all over Madison (which is probably why they seemed to be everywhere). It looked like fun. From the announcement:
The Urban Assault Ride is a funky bike scavenger hunt that involves street-smart riding, obstacle courses, and a huge after party. Mental muscle is just as important as bike skills as teams of 2 choose their own course to checkpoints around the city.
The event is well known for its checkpoints where physical and mental obstacle courses must be completed before moving on. Kinda like American Gladiators with a demented cycling twist. The first team to hit all of the checkpoint and cross the finish line wins! Then the party begins with FREE BEER and lots more two-wheeled shenanigans!
It is THE MOST FUN you will ever have on a bike.
Things were quieter across the lake, over at B. B. Clarke Beach. With not a swimmer in sight and several lifeguards on duty, there wasn't much for them to do but rake the sand over and over and scrub the duck poop off the diving platform -- passing the time and staving off Nature's reclaiming the beach for one more week. Oh my, where has summer gone?