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Fun under the Big Top

Posted on April 3, 2019 by Richard Amery
Photo by Richard Amery Juanita DeVos isn’t just clowning around as she looks forward to “Murder Under the Big Top,” a fundraiser April 13 at Westminster Community Centre to benefit the Windy Castle Medieval Faire.

You can help solve a murder under the big top, unless you’re the murderer.
The Windy Castle Medieval Faire is excited to present their third interactive murder mystery at the Westminster Community Centre (411 16 St. N.) near No Frills, Saturday, April 13.
“There’s no excuse not to come. After all, who doesn’t want to run away with the circus,” chuckled co-organizer Juanita DeVos, dressed in her homemade killer clown costume.
Organizers are pulling out all the stops, bringing in a mini-midway, circus treats, clowns and acrobats.
Everybody who joins the fun gets to play a character. You can choose which as well as how big a role you want to play in the production.
“There are 80 different characters up for grabs,” said organizer Michelle Couper, noting they range from all manner of circus folks to various circus animals.
Couper is excited about the games.
“There will be eight or nine games like duck hunt, balloon pop, fishing, skee ball, ring toss and fish bowls,” she listed.
“We have four garbage bags full of stuffed animals to give away as prizes.”
“And there will be midway food, popcorn, corn dogs, cotton candy. We’re even making gluten-free hotdogs on a stick,” Couper continued.
Local acrobatic troupe Le Cirque Venteaux, including Donedin Jackson, Curtis Jestin, Stephanie Snider and John Hedinghan will be performing at the Murder Under the Big Top to give a preview of their performance at the Faire this summer.
For the murder mystery portion of the evening, participants are invited to create their own costumes for the event.
“You can choose a character with less of a spotlight role,” she continued, adding they also need volunteer “carnies” to operate the games and food vendors.
The event is a fundraiser for this year’s third annual Windy Castle Medieval Faire, scheduled for July 20 and 21 at their new location on Highway 4 and Township Road 74.
“The goal of the Windy Castle Medieval Faire has always been to provide a family-friendly event to get people out of their homes and to have some fun. And who doesn’t love a circus?” said DeVos, adding this fundraiser is an important event for the Faire as the proceeds pay for some of the Faire’s most fun activities including jousters.
“Everybody gets a character with some information. And they learn more about their character and the other characters as the night goes on. There are suggestions about their background and possible motives. It gives you an excuse to interact with other people,” DeVos described, adding after the murder everyone gets a little more information abut their characters and motivations.
“It’s a lot of fun for everyone to come together with the common objective of solving the murder by listening for clues,” DeVos enthused, adding the group has organized two other murder mystery fundraisers.
“We did Once Upon an Ominous Fairy Tale, a fairy tale-themed murder mystery the first year and A Killer St. Patrick’s Day last year,” she said.
The money from this event will allow Windy Castle to bring in the Tilt and Lance jousters from Calgary. So this event is really important for the Faire.
They are excited abut this year’s Windy Castle Medieval Faire at their new location.
“It’s a new location on Highway 4, Township Road 74. It’s right at the intersection. The Fort Whoop-Up Historical Society has a new space there,” Couper said, adding in addition to jousters, there will be fun for the whole family including fire breathers, Red Stag Viking re-enactments, the Lethbridge Medieval Club battling with swords and other medieval weapons, Lothar the Magician and storyteller Callen Scott.
Under the Big Top characters cost $20 before April 12 and $25 at the door but are ideally purchased in advance from http://www.windycastle.com. Tickets are also available for cash at Conybeare general store and mercantile downtown (422 6 Ave. S.). Doors open at 6 p.m.

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