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Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for Aug. 19 to 21

Les 7 doigts de la main. Photo credit: Christian Tremblay.

Friday, Aug. 19
There’s no big tent, but Loft by Les 7 doigts de la main is an edgy, modern show that pulls from the best of the circus. Following the story of seven friends who take up residence in a loft to escape from the outside world, members of this collective use acrobatics, juggling, clown acts, aerial performances, poetry, and song to entertain themselves and their roommates. Music by a DJ is the backbone of the performance, with tunes that range from swing to rap to tango. On at the Casino du Lac-Leamy this Thursday and Friday and Aug. 24 to 27.

File this under “things that are really cool to watch but too scary to try” when the World Championships of Slalom Skateboarding comes to town. Slalom skateboarding involves racing down a hill on a skateboard while maneuvering between tightly placed cones. The world championships of this fast-paced sport are being held in Ottawa this year — the first time since Expo ’86 that they’re taking place on Canadian soil. More than 70 racers from 12 countries and three continents will convene in the capital to vie for the top spot in men, women, juniors, and masters classes — the latter category being for racers over 45. The event is partnered with, and will be making a donation to, United Way Ottawa. Takes place all weekend.

Make the most of the quickly dwindling summer evenings with a visit to the Ottawa Night Market. The only one of its kind in the city (this is its inaugural year, too), the market aims to promote multiculturalism by exposing visitors to the best that local businesses have to offer. Bring your appetite, as plenty of food vendors — Thai Flame, Taste of India, and My Sweet Tea, among others — will be on hand to tempt your taste buds. Visitors can also pick up some one-of-a-kind crafty creations, or just stroll along Somerset Street West, listen to some tunes, and take in the atmosphere. Takes place Friday starting at 6pm and Saturday starting at noon, with both nights running until  1am.

Saturday, Aug. 20
Adore Japanese culture? (And who doesn’t? This is, after all, the culture that brought us sushi). Then head on over to the seventh annual Japanese Summer Festival at Vincent Massey Park. The annual celebration showcases martial arts, flower arranging sessions, traditional dances, tasty food (like a hot dog with Japanese toppings!), a children’s tent with face painting, origami, and games, and a performance by Japanese pop star Blaise Plant of Monkey Majik. The pièce de résistance? It’s all free!

Lumiere Festival. Photo credit: Dyanne Wilson.

Magic is in the air at the Lumière Festival’s Evening of Light outdoor celebration. Explore the lantern labyrinth and check out a variety of exciting live performances. Encourage your youngsters to dress up in costume and make a stop at the “Transformation Tent” to add a little sparkle to their ensembles. As the sun goes down, glowing handcrafted lanterns light up Stanley Park.

If you’re downtown on Wednesdays at lunch time, there’s a good chance you’ve seen people downward-dogging it on Parliament Hill for Lululemon’s weekly yoga session. If you haven’t been able to get there during the week, do not fret: the athletic apparel company is hosting a giant class on Saturday from noon to 1pm. The goal is to get an astounding 1,500 people to The Hill, so bring your families, friends, and neighbours for this big sesh, followed by an even bigger party.

Sunday, Aug. 21
If you’ve got children, you’ve got a built-in excuse for seeing the cinematic throwback that is The Muppets Take Manhattan. If you don’t have children, don’t worry — there’s really no shame in going without a young one in tow. In this 1984 Jim Henson classic, Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the gang head to New York to try to get their musical on Broadway, only to find out that it’s not quite as easy as they thought it would be. The kids will love it, but let’s be honest: this isn’t really about the kids. Playing Saturday and Sunday afternoon at The Mayfair.

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