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Free fire show coming to Mill Race Park on Dec. 19

16 performers from Tri City Flow will put on four shows starting at 7:30 p.m.

A group of performers who share a love of artistic movement is ready to warm up the holidays with a free fire show at Mill Race Park in Cambridge on Dec. 19.

Tri City Flow has put together a short holiday show they will perform four times starting at the park’s amphitheatre at 7:30 p.m.

Alysha Pantherophis is the Kitchener-based artist organizing the show and says the five and a half minute performance is fully choreographed with 16 dancers, music and props.

“We’ve all been working quite hard on this for the last couple of months just to give back to the community and give a gift to everybody,” she says.

Pantherophis says the organization, which meets weekly to “share the love of movement,” brings together performers from a pastiche of different disciplines, including fire dancing, acro-yoga and flow art, which uses circus apparatus like hoola hoops, staffs and cyr wheels. 

During the warm months, members from all over Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo meet in Victoria Park in Kitchener, where they encourage participation from members of the public. In the winter, the group moves to an indoor space.

Pantherophis performs professionally with another member of the group in the fire dancing company Dragon Breath Entertainment, but says for this show everyone has volunteered their time. 

“We’re not trying to get donations, we’re not trying to make money from it. It’s purely being given as a gift,” she says.

The group chose Mill Race Park for the performance because it’s central and within walking distance of the core. The fact that it has an amphitheatre is a bonus.

Spectators are invited to stop and watch for a few minutes, or stick around for the other performances.

The performers will move on to Waterloo Park on Dec. 20 and Kitchener’s Victoria Park on Dec. 21.

Pantherophis says it was important they hit all three cities because that’s where the performers live. 

As a professional dancer whose livelihood essentially ground to a halt between March 2020 and June 2021, Pantherophis says everyone performing next week is looking forward to the crowd response.

The few virtual performances they put together during the pandemic may have helped keep them motivated but the experience just wasn’t the same. 

“In person fire performances will always be thousands of times more magical and exciting for people than a virtual online show and we’re not trying to pretend that that’s not true,” she says.