Offbeat: World-Fest Acrobats

BRANSON, MO(KAIT)--Each spring international performers from around the world gather in America's heartland at Silver Dollar City in Branson. It's a celebration of global proportions. It's called World Fest, and from the Irish Feet of Fire, to Los Pampas Gauchos from Argentina, to the Peruvian performance of Jallmay, there are seven countries represented, showcasing unique talent from around the world.

Hundreds of thousands come to Silver Dollar City every spring looking to experience this variety of international entertainment. One of this year's most anticipated performances is an act from China, never before seen in the United States, that's taken five years to get it to World Fest. The Zhejiang Balancing Monks make the seemingly impossible, possible.

The perfomance represents tales from China, told through choreography and incredible feats of acrobatic strength and balance.

Rex Burdette, World Fest coordinator, said he first saw the act five years ago. "We started developing them," said Burdette. "These kids start at 5 years old standing on their heads and juggling. It takes a long time for them to get where they're at, and it takes a long time to get them here."

Part of the show includes the Hang Ju monks and their truly remarkable practice of an ancient form of kung fu.

"We use, Hang Ju kung fu," said Woo Hang Ping.  "It combines the strong body with the acrobatics. We have spent many years disciplining our minds and bodies. We bring this show to the U.S. for the first time, especially for this festival only.

"What they do is utterly impossible," said Burdette. "I say it's impossible. You can't put another guy on your head, on his head and walk around, it's impossible, I say it's impossible."

The Branson/Lakes Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is launching its first mobile text messaging campaign. It invites mobile users to text, WOWBRANSON to 74700 for a chance to win one of 10 family vacations.

Ten lucky winners who enter between now and June 5, 2009 will receive a 4-day/3-night stay in the "Live Music Show Capital of the World" good for up to four guests, complete with show and attractions tickets, and shopping discounts. Prizes will be awarded weekly. For complete rules, visit