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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
<p class="p1">Clown and film star Avner Eisenberg, whose stage name is Avner the Eccentric, will be returning to perform at this year’s Jest Fest on Sunday.</p>

Clown and film star Avner Eisenberg, whose stage name is Avner the Eccentric, will be returning to perform at this year’s Jest Fest on Sunday.

World-famous circus performers and Broadway film stars will take the stage Sunday at the third annual Jest Fest.

The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department will be hosting Jest Fest from noon to 6 p.m. at the Historic Thomas Center and Gardens. Admission is free.

“In a total of six hours, audiences will have the chance to see the most amazing performers of magic, comedy and daring routines coming from across the U.S. right in front of them,” said David Ballard, the events coordinator for Jest Fest. “Audiences will see acts that bring laughter and fun, but they will also see the great skills of juggling fire and walking on high wire.”

For the last two years, Jest Fest  occurred each Saturday night in April at 6 p.m. for a two-hour show on the Bo Diddley Community Plaza stage downtown.

Ballard said because the plaza is closed for renovations this year, Jest Fest was moved to the Thomas Center. This allowed for the fest to not be spaced out into sequenced days but instead into just one with five stage locations both indoors and outdoors.

Some of the performances for Jest Fest include world-renowned circus stars The Flying Wallendas, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus star, 12-year-old ventriloquist Cole Tucker and more.

Avner Eisenberg, a clown and film star, said he is looking forward to reconnecting with some of his oldest best friends while at the festival and watching them perform. Eisenberg’s stage name is Avner the Eccentric.

“Performing is the calmest part of my day,” Eisenberg said. “I am home when I am on stage, and the audience is invited into this world I have created with my character.”

Michael Kaufman, known as Magical Mystical Michael, is one of the magicians who will be performing.

“I know all of these performers personally, and I hope people will be influenced by the shows,” he said. “It’s a great feeling when you impact someone’s life by doing something you love.”

[A version of this story ran on page 10 on 3/26/2015 under the headline “3rd annual Jest Fest on Sunday moves location, one day only”]

Clown and film star Avner Eisenberg, whose stage name is Avner the Eccentric, will be returning to perform at this year’s Jest Fest on Sunday.

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