Step up to an old-time fair - Metro US

Step up to an old-time fair

People who missed the debut year of Ottawa’s most unique carnival might think they’re walking into a small-town fair when Carnivale Lune Bleue opens tonight.

But attendees at this year’s event — with a new location in Ottawa’s core — will find a Depression-era carnival.

Through Aug. 30, world-class acrobats, a circus sideshow and some of the biggest snakes to slither in Ottawa will take over Hog’s Back Park. Combined with a vintage midway, a clairvoyant caravan and old-time carnival food, attendees will feel they’ve stepped back in time, said the carnival’s director of media relations.

“It’s very different from anything they’ve ever experienced before,” said Stephanie Egan. “Last year, a lot of older people came through and couldn’t believe it — this was the way it was when they were kids.”

The carnival was held in Kars its debut year, but organizers moved the carnival this year in hopes that more could attend.

The Congress of Wonders includes some “oddities,” including items from the 1939 World’s Fair and Hollywood movie props, said Egan.

Under the big top, Cirque Maroc is a world-class act performing dance, tightrope and other acrobatics.

The Carnival Diablo — a sideshow where performers do sword swallowing, fire eating, the bed of nails and the human dartboard, may not be appropriate for young children, while the Great Snakes of the World show —featuring the giant rock python, which is the length of two small cars — may be an opportunity to confront your fears, Egan said.

“Back then, the carnival gave people an escape,” said Egan. It hasn’t changed, she said, adding that the carnival will be extra popular with more people choosing staycations.

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