From wooden clubs and balls to knives and flaming torches, juggler Rob Smith, of Clarks Summit can handle it all. His upcoming performances in this year’s First Night Scranton promise to be filled with fun and danger, as he starts off with standard rings, balls and various sports-themed items, moving on to the “dangerous stuff,” he said.
Smith, the only entertainer who performed at every First Night Scranton since the inaugural event 15 years ago, will appear again this year in the Firehouse on Mulberry Street at 7, 8 and 9 p.m.
Event organizers explained they generally don’t allow the same acts to perform every year, so as to keep things new and to insure each one fits with the changing yearly themes. Smith, however, is an exception, due to his flexibility and willingness to create an act around almost any theme, as well as his popularity among locals.
“People go berserk for this guy,” said Damian the Magician, event co-chairman. “He juggles not only clubs, but fire. He’s a very, very, very good entertainer and people gravitate to him.”
Smith said he performs at an estimated 100 events a year, in addition to teaching seventh grade reading and leading a juggling club at Abington Heights Middle School.
He said he looks forward to performing at First Night Scranton each year, and his favorite aspect of the event is interacting with the audience.
“It’s a real festive time,” he said.