August 11, 2009

Something Wicked This Way Comes - Carnivàle Lune Bleue

Blair Gable for Maclean's

Inspired by the musty magic and allure of 1930s carnivals, Carnivàle Lune Bleue* is an authentic all-senses extravaganza where visitors become immersed in six hours of colourful, gritty, surreal and frequently bizarre entertainment.

At five o’clock on an Ottawa evening, a circus barker with frightening green eyes takes down the rope and sweeps a cluster of people inside the Carnivàle Lune Bleue wave of his cane. For five summer weeks visitors to the Carnivàle Lune Bleue can take in the sites of this careful recreation of a 1930s-style circus as they wander under the shimmering lights with the Delta blues drifting on the air.
Blair Gable for Maclean's

Along the Magical Midway with its vintage rides and skill-testing games, men and women in suspenders and newspaper-boy caps pull back the flaps of their canvas tents invite you to a game of skill or chance.

Found under the carnival’s colourful banners are the Clairvoyant Caravan and the reptile show and as well as The Cookhouse, the World of Wonders and the Carnival Diablo freak-show. Awesome acrobats from the Cirque Maroc are found under the big top.

There’s a Ferris wheel, built in 1917 by the Eli Bridge Company of Jacksonville, Illinois and a 1938 carousel - both carefully brought up to code.

Carnivàle Lune Bleue opened at the end of July for its second season. Found at Hog's Back Park, the old fairgrounds in the Village of Kars, half an hour outside the city of Ottawa, the carnival draws between 600 and 1,000 visitors per night during its five-week run.

Carnivàle Lune Bleue was painstakingly planned and researched over a number of years by visionary Wayne Van De Graaff; a carnival enthusiast who has been long-fascinated with the dream of reviving an authentic old-style carnival where one could transcend time to a simpler, romantic and more magical era. With Carnivàle Lune Bleue Wayne Van De Graaff’s dream has become a reality. Now he’s the boss of a real-life vintage carnival, inviting the curious to take off their watches and step out of time.

Blair Gable for Maclean's

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Inspired by When the Carnivale Came to Town, Jordan Timm, Maclean's August 2009

*Blue Moon Carnival


Sandra Leigh said...

Did you see that somebody has decided to get married at the carnival? Strange, but fun.

Brian Miller said...

too cool. i truly wish the carnival still came around...all we are left with here is a second hand circus...pretty puny actually.

J A Harnett-Hargrove said...

Beautiful blog, nice bits of eclectic
wanderings. -Jayne

Turquoise Diaries said...

It sounds so good and fun..

Tina Tarnoff said...

This sounds so unbelievably wonderful, I want to go. But I fear if I did go, you wouldn't see me out of the clairvoyant caravan.

Mya.L said...

Shame I'm not in Ottawa!

Anonymous said...

Just in case anyone does want to go, Hogs Back park is in Ottawa, not half an hour south of the city in the village of Kars. That was the venue last year.

T. Clear said...

Sounds completely marvelous!