One-man Circus Michael DuBois Highlights RIC END Event

Rhode Island College students crowded the quad during free period on Wednesday for RIC END’s fiery luau, where they enjoyed the entertainment of a one-man circus, free balloon animals and all-you-can-drink fruit smoothies.

One of the most popular attractions was the Solo Circuis of Michael DuBois, who has performed at more than 300 colleges and universities across the country and been a guest on "The Jay Leno Show."

“I’m going to be on top of a six-foot unicycle, and it’s going to be really dangerous,” said DuBois. “But the more energy you guys give me, the more I’ll be able to do.”

He incorporated RIC students into his acts by having them throw balls to him while juggling, jumping over them while on a unicycle and having them tie him in a straightjacket while he attempted to escape from atop a six-foot unicycle. DuBois also juggled bowling pins, knives and fire.

The smoothie cart and Stephen King, a performer wearing a Joker-like suit, represented Party Vision, LLC. King made free balloon animals, hats and flowers for students as they waited in the smoothie line.

King said being a balloon artist was just one trick of his trade; he can also juggle and eat fire, among his other popular circus and entertainment activities. But mostly, he said, he is just known as the “creepy balloon guy."

On the sunny, 70-degree day that finally felt like April, smoothies were a favorite among students. Using RIC END’s official event hashtag, #fieryluau, RIC student Alexandria Birmingham tweeted a picture of her smoothie with the caption, “yummy!”

The most popular booth at the event was for RIC Programming, a student organization that plans and promotes different events on campus. Lynn Long, a senior computer science major who manned the table, has been a member of RIC Programming for more than a year.

“People always complain about how there is nothing to do on campus, but they don’t get involved, and they don’t go to any events,” said Long.

Other programming members Michael Hall, a junior biology major, and Ayana Monteiro, a freshman majoring in public relations, gave students free candy, leis and drawstring bags while promoting remaining RIC END events.

Active Minds, a student organization that promotes the importance of mental health, held a pet therapy event on one side of the quad where six dogs – some specifically trained in pet therapy – roamed among the students.

Joshua Bednarz, a senior accounting major and the treasurer of Active Minds, said he was happy  to spread the word about the organization. The group will host “Laughter Yoga” on  May 1 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Adams Library Room 409. A tye-dye event will take place immediately following the event, where t-shirts, socks and other items will be provided, said Bednarz.

Kayla Saccoccio, a junior biology major and the treasurer for Anthropos, a group that encourages other students to take part in non-western traditions, recruited students to participate in their tye-dye station with all natural ingredients, and to plant herbs at their table for a future herb garden.

Anthropos partnered with the Environmental Club, represented at the RIC END event by Vice President John Fulton and member Zachary Bain. The Environmental Club also hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony during free period to celebrate the new Campus Garden, located on the corner of Fruit Hill Avenue and Hennessey Street.

The two organizations also hosted a “Trash Can Dump” for members to provide information on recycling and to get suggestions from attendees on how to improve recycling efforts on campus.

RIC END’s Wednesday events came to a close later in the evening when Christopher Moon, an investigator who travels the world to communicate with the paranormal, led students on an on-campus ghost hunt to answer the question, “Is RIC haunted?”