Carnivale Lune Bleue

Posted: 4th August 2008 by Luc "Sandman" G. in Entertainment, Ottawa

My wife and I attended the opening of Carnivale Lune Bleue on Friday night in Kars, Ontario. Lune Bleue is a trip back in time to an authentic 1930s carnival, complete with a freakshow, a circus performance, a ferris wheel and games of chance.

We arrived around 6:15pm in the heart of Kars, where we lined up before entering the grounds. We had to wait for a ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled for 6:30, but that was running a little behind schedule due to a tardy mayor. As we waited, we were entertained by the grounds Master of Ceremony who was completely dressed from head to toe in 1930s garb, which included an old fashion cone bullhorn.

The ribbon cutting ceremony finally concluded around 6:40pm, after which we were whisked onto the carnival grounds. It was a little disappointed to find that a number of attractions weren’t ready yet. The Thrills and Skills tent which was supposed to house a 1930’s carny arcade was completely barren. There was no games of chance; no knocking down of milk bottles, no ring tosses, no shooting gallery.

The first attraction that we visited was the Ten-In-One tent where I eagerly awaited the start of the authentic freakshow Carnival Diablo. This sideshow has been in existence for the last 14 years, entertaining crowds across Canada. We were first introduced by the master of ceremony who called himself Nikolai Diablo. The first trick was a skit that derived from the russian roulette game. Diablo invited a member of the audience to hide a 9 inch long spike under one of 4 paper bags. Diablo, seemingly not knowing which bag had the spike,proceeded to smash 3 of the bags with his hand, always picking an empty bag.

We were also entertained by the strongman Mighty Leviticus who bent an iron bar between his teeth, served as a human dart board and suffered at the hands of Diablo in an electric chair. Also on the stage was Istvan Betyar, a world renowned sword swallower. The crowd gasped and clapped as he swallowed a 24″ french corkscrew sword, and simultaneously swallowing 2 broadswords. Diablo himself also entertained the crowd by seemingly swallowing razor blades, performing a fire eating act and piercing his tongue with a shark hook and then proceeding to lift a basket of rocks with his tongue.

45 minutes after the show began we were escorted into another tent, The Big Top, which is the original tent used in the first ever world performance by the Cirque du Soleil. We beared witness to a human circus, the Cirque Maroc. The acrobats in Cirque Maroc are all alumni from the Cirque du Soleil and Ringling Brothers. We were amazed by watching these acrobats performing breathtaking feats which included high wire acts, a couple of trapeze performances, a contortionist performance, a hoop show, all wrapped around a story filled with dances and a lot of comedic moments. These performances were flawless in their execution and left the crowd amazed and wanting more.

After the 1 hour long show, we briefly walked the carnival grounds. We skipped the Tropical Terrors tent which was holding the Great Snakes of the World Show as my wife has a big fear of snakes. I admired the ferris wheel, which is an authentic 1917 Eli Bridge ferris wheel. I only admired it from afar as the lineup for the ride was long and we were both a little tired.

On our way back to the car we also passed the carousel, another authentic piece of a 1930’s carnival. The vintage carousel dates back to 1938. Near the gate exits also sat a 1930s bus, the Clairvoyant Caravan, where you can have your fortunes read by either a Tarot reading or a palm reading.

The carnival also includes the Congress of Wonder, a tent filled with authentic early 1900 carnival artifacts, an outdoor restaurant entitled the Cookhouse, a High Striker and a Coin Toss.

As much as we enjoyed ourselves, I’m not sure the 60$ a ticket price is fully worth it. At 120$ for a couple, I find that price a little steep for what you get. This is not a cheap outing for a family of 4! I think it would have been more sensible if the price was in the 30$ to 40$ range. I’m sure at that price range the carnival would attract more people. We can’t really complain though, as my wife was given the tickets for free at her workplace.

All in all, I enjoyed our night out at Carnivale Lune Bleue.  If you enjoy carnivals/fairs, and you can afford the high ticket prices, this is one that you shouldn’t pass up. Just don’t do like we did and forget the bug spray!

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