Coney Island comes to Kent

Heather Holiday swallows a sword as part of the Coney Island Freak Show during FlashFest today. KATIE ROUPE | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

Freaking out FlashFest

Todd Robbins walked onto a small stage in the middle of Risman Plaza wearing a bright purple suit and a devious smile before putting out a cigar on his tongue.

Robbins is a member of the Coney Island Freak Show out of New York, and for his first performance, he set a small animal trap and slowly lowered his hand down into it.

When the trap snapped closed, a female audience member screamed out, followed by laughter from the audience.

“If you liked what I did just now, my name is Todd Robbins,” he said. “If not, you can call me Lester Lefton.”

The next act, Heather Holiday, is a 19-year-old sideshow performer who, among other things, swallows swords ranging in size from 16 inches to 25.5 inches.

Senior chemistry major Dan Sedlak volunteered to help remove the longest sword from Holiday’s throat.

Gasps and the sounds of, “Oh my God!” rang out in the audience as Sedlak held onto the end of the sword while Holiday slowly backed away from it.

“I felt like I scared her a lot,” he said. “I think she thought I was going to pull it out real quick.”

Contact minority affairs reporter Elise Franco at [email protected].

Seeing the future

Beware: At some point in the near future, I will either be the victim of a miscommunication or be the miscommunicator, according to my Egyptian oracle card reading at FlashFest.

But, on a more positive note, urged by my creative impulses, I am bound to “walk up the ladder of success.”

Until then, “I want to try to separate myself from situations I don’t want to be in” when conflicts arise between friends and peers.

Kara Hollingsworth, owner of Egyptian Shadows in Canton, said she began using a basic tarot card deck as a child and eventually learned to read Egyptian Oracle cards called the “Book of Doors.”

“I follow a more Egyptian path,” she said, adding she practices Egyptian paganism.

Hollingsworth said the main difference between tarot cards and oracle cards is that oracle cards do not rely on elements – air, fire, water and wind; however, both cards use astrology and numerology.

So far, Hollingsworth said she has yet to offend people with her readings. Instead, she said the opposite is true.

“I do have people come back to me and say ‘Hey, this happened like you said it would’,” she said.

Contact student politics reporter Jackie Valley at [email protected].

Bouncing around FlashFest

In the midst of Risman Plaza, a girl walks through the shadows in a short-sleeved shirt, hugging herself while complaining, “Uhhh! It’s so cold! Why didn’t you tell me to bring my coat?”

Hawthorne Height’s “Ohio is for Lovers” plays in the background, and students sitting at various tables sing along.

After leaving one such table, a girl asks for help pinning her Virginia Tech ribbon on her shirt. Five seconds later, it’s already upside down.

Two students sign release forms under a white tent. One asks the other, “Next of kin phone number? I could die by jumping up and down?”

Jumping up and down on the EuroBungy, a barefooted girl looks like she’d have more fun on the ground.

“Higher! Go higher!” a man yells from below.

“What am I supposed to do?!” the girl yells back, exasperated.

An announcer climbs the stage and tells the crowd the sideshow activities will start in 15 minutes.

Contact news correspondent Kelly Pickerel at [email protected].