PIQUA — Ventriloquist and juggler Mike Hemmelgarn and Amanda Gold’s Tumble U Acrobatics will be featured for the 25th celebration of Taste of the Arts on Friday, May 10. Both acts will be performing between 5-9 p.m. at the intersection of Fun and Friends.
Hemmelgarn, a performer of 25 years, will be using several characters during his ventriloquist act: Tyson, a paranoid chicken, a wooden soldier named Melvin, a 92-year-old lady named Rosie and a monkey called Bongo.
“I love them all, but I think my favorite is Rosie. She seems to be a hit with the young and old alike and has a nice range to her character. She was named after my grandmother,” said Hemmelgarn. “In my juggling act, I will magically produce bowling balls and then juggle them along with bowling pins, an apple and a machete all while eating the apple!”
Audience participation is part of Hemmelgarn’s act. “My favorite audience participation part is using two volunteers to become human puppets. I give them wild character voices that are the opposite of what you’d expect. It really is hilarious,” he said.
Hemmelgarn’s favorite part about being an entertainer is that he loves unleashing a unique act on an unsuspecting audience and the challenge of making that act even better. “I enjoy making people laugh and giving them more enjoyment than they ever thought they were going to get!”
Amanda Gold is in her fourth year of coaching Tumble U Acrobatics, which is housed in Piqua. There are 14 members of the group, ranging in age from 5 to 23. The group competes in women’s pairs, mixed pairs, trios and men’s pairs throughout the year. Tumble U has won regional and state titles and captured a national title in 2018. Tumble U will perform at 6 p.m. demonstrating group routines along with individuals, pairs and trios.
“I’m excited to show off and get the audience excited about acrobatics and what we do,” said Gold. “We have worked really hard to reach our goals each year, competing six-seven times before nationals. We’re proud to let attendees of Taste of the Arts see how much we enjoy what we do.”
Taste of the Arts also highlights area artists, offers taste size portions of popular menu items from local and area restaurants, children’s activities and art demonstrations throughout the evening.
For more information about Taste of the Arts, call Mainstreet Piqua at (937) 773-9335.