How do you celebrate an achievement like keeping a film festival operational and successful for ten years, in the midst of a sketchy economy and on a shoestring budget, and spinning that festival into the undisputed, single-most important and highly rated arts and entertainment event in the entire Stateline region??
So BIFF is taking over downtown Beloit, inside and out, and staging a one-night-only, got-to-be-there, Lollapafestastravaganza!!! And YOU are on the who’s-who, international, VIP guest list (this means it’s all FREE). It all starts on Friday evening, February 20th at 7:30PM and continues until they run out of fun!! Here’s a listing of what you’ll be loving when you attend:
Throughout the evening, professional fire breathing will light up the night on the downtown streets of Beloit. Spectacular tongues of flame will lap at the crisp winter air, and additional displays of flaming hula hooping and poi spinning will amaze young and old alike.
The roar of the chain saw! Ice chips spinning into the frosty air! Suddenly, a work of crystalline art appears. Ice sculpting artisans will assemble in the First National Bank and Trust Company Park (right across the street from the bank) to compete for a cash prize. Stop by and cast your vote with a BIFF Twitter tweet!!
Feeling a little under the weather? Stop at the Bop for the BEST medicine!! The “Isthmus of Misfits” Comedy Mini-Fest promises a healthy line-up of sidesplitting comics with a cure for the common winter blues!! Or wait till the pros are done and step up to the open mic and share a few minutes of your own brand of comic tonic!!
From Chicago, the puppeteering capital of the Midwest, comes a troupe of performers wielding life-size creatures to amaze and entertain you with this time honored specialized art form. It ain’t no Pinocchio show! Enjoy the spectacle in the comfortable west lobby of the Hendricks Center for the Arts at Beloit College.
If you need to rest your mind and body for a bit, duck into one of two venues featuring coffee house style entertainment. Each location and artist comes with its own special brand of mood, style and atmosphere. Relax with fine wines and coffees at Café Fromage, or your favorite top shelf spirits at Merrill & Houston’s. Then, wash it down with a splash of classic folk and brilliant original music by local solo artists. Ahh…that feels good!
Local legendary guitarist/singer/songwriter and blues aficionado, Matt Goodwin, has assembled a group of talented veterans of the blues/rock scene to get the party started at Suds O’Hanahan’s. Bring your axe, get onstage, plug in and join together with the jam!!
Beloit’s own Dr. Robert Tomaro wears a lot of musical hats: Maestro of the Rock River Philharmonic, touring fusion bandleader, Grammy nominated songwriter and producer, and international singing sensation! Catch Rob wearing his jazz beret and leading his remarkable trio before he leaves us for another world tour!! Joining Rob with his Sinatra-esque vocalizations is BIFF’s very own Creative/Operations Director, Grammy nominated songwriter, Greg Gerard.
What the heck is a SPEBSQSA?? Well, it actually stands for the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America! Our own John Kalkirtz has assembled a fab foursome and more some of veteran barber shoppers to add a little harmony to the evening. In addition, the award winning Trinity Irish Dancers from Milwaukee, WI will perform amazing traditional Celtic dance routines, and the Polish Dance Ensemble will offer their own colorful ethnic flair.
The Block Party has something for everyone, including kids…from tots to tweens! Nikole Wagner of Doodles, Beloit’s finest service for arts and crafts education for all ages, will host a family crafts event that will include learning how to construct an animation device. Nikole is a highly skilled artist and is wonderful with kids groups! It’s a Friday night. No school on Saturday. Let ‘em stay up late…and create!!
It’s Casablanca at La Casa!! Jim Lyke and his JPAC Radio Players from Janesville, WI will bring their amazing talents to Beloit for a one-night-only performance of the Lux Radio Theater classic, Casablanca. Jim and his troupe have mounted many radio theater productions in the past, including an acclaimed performance of the Orson Welles/H. G. Wells legendary War of the Worlds.
You can attend the performance and watch in the comfort of the La Casa Grande screening room, or you can tune your radio to WBEL AM 1380 in Beloit. and listen to the entire performance in the privacy of your own home or automobile…right before you head to downtown Beloit for the Block Party of the Century!!!