Friday, June 16, 2006

A Wave in the Desert

This weekend, one of my favorite arts events of the summer is happening. Tsunami on the Square will always hold a special place in my heart because I was there when Jay Ruby of The Carpetbag Brigade started the whole crazy thing back in 1999. He conned my hubby into serving on the first board of directors of TotS, as well as to dress up as one of The Horribles and lead that first parade around the Courthouse Square.

Jay Ruby and Kristen Greco of The Carpetbag Brigade.

Prescott isn't a big town, it's not even a particularly arts oriented town. In fact it tends toward the more, er, conservative side of things. Somehow, though, Tsunami has survived. This year marks the 8th year for the event, and I'm not entirely sure how they've managed to keep it going. Jay's run off to the San Francisco Bay Area with The Carpetbag Brigade, but he left the festival in good hands. He's been gone (and missed!) for three years now, but the wave rolls on.

I love Tsunami because it's kind of like having the circus show up in Mayberry (if Mayberry was in the desert mountains of Arizona). They actually have a Circus Camp set up for the kids prior to the event. The kids who attend get to perform on the main stage the day of Tsunami. There are some new things, like the Art Car parade. My husband will be pulling announcer duties again this year, and I'll be hanging out with him up in the balcony at The Jersey Lilly Saloon. Hey, best seat in town AND I can have a beer while I watch the parade roll by. A new thing is the Art Car that is being raffled off - check out the Aquarolla! I have a feeling I'll be ponying up the cash for my chance to win the great and groovy car!

My favorite part of the festival is Flam Chen's fire show.

The city flipped out the first year - a fire show on the square that famously burnt to the ground way back when? and in the middle of a drought?! Are you freakin' nuts?!!! Well, Flam Chen are pros, all the way. This Tucson-based fire performance group has played internationally, and they are well aware of the dangers of their medium, and what needs to be done to keep it as safe as possible. Needless to say, they won the argument & put on a freakin' AMAZING show. They have become a Tsunami tradition, closing the festival every year. This year, friends from Phoenix are making the trip up to Prescott just for Flam Chen. Like I said, this is my favorite event of the summer, and I think maybe you can see why. If you'd like to see more awesome images from last year's event, check out John Seaman's photo page here.

When I'm sitting here today, staring at the blinking cursor waiting for the words to sort themselves out with the novel, you'll have to forgive me if my mind wanders a bit. Don't worry. I promise I won't run away and join the circus just yet. I've got a novel to finish. But damn, it sure is tempting...


At 2:27 PM, Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

Wow Angie! That looks and sounds pretty cool!

At 3:12 PM, Blogger angie said...

It's just as cool as it looks! I can't tell you how weird & wonderful it is when Tsunami hits this stodgy ol' town. And I'm proud to have helped get it going - I served on the board during year 2 and volunteered/participated with Coyote Radio for several years after that. Not doing it this year (except for watching my dude announce the art cars). Nice to just enjoy the show.

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

Good for you Angie! What an awesome thing to be part of. It looks so cool!

At 8:57 PM, Blogger anne frasier said...

oh wow, angie. this looks incredibly weird and cool!!! i love the images you posted. wow.

At 6:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a amazing time. Even though you might not be able to run away with the circus, I'm sure there's a story there.

At 1:08 PM, Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

if we could get the excavator out to our peroperty so we can finish plans for the house and find a contractor to get it built...i'm looking forward to tsunami next year.

hey, angie! You know an excavator?

At 2:46 PM, Blogger angie said...

Hmm, I'll ask around, Mindy. See if I can *dig up* somebody (slaps knee with a hee and a haw).


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