The end is near

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This would seem to be it.

Yesterday’s Piccolo Finale was a sweat-soaked circus of blanketed picnickers who tried bravely to ignore the heat, but they may as well have tried to ignore the pull of gravity. Ninety-six degrees hung over Hampton Park like Hell’s own furnace turned on us, and in the end even the lure of live African drumming couldn’t keep people from packing up and taking their fried chicken home to swimming pools and TV screens. Although I left before they started, an Israeli jazz band that nobody seemed able to identify is said to have blown the hubs of the wheels at the end of the evening, once things cooled down, and a line dance snaked and gyrated fully around the stage. We also hear the hot air balloon rides were a big hit. Sources say Piccolites can look for both the band and the balloon to return for next year’s big 30th anniversary Piccolo finale.

Today’s forecast for Spoleto’s big closing act at Middleton Place is a relatively milder 90 and sunny, with the possibility of a stray thunderboomer dropping in, which might not be entirely unwelcome, as long as it’s brief. At the moment, Nina Ananashvili and her Laker Girls are pirouetting across the Gaillard stage and Aurélia Thierée is surfing the curtains at Emmett Robinson in the final performances of Spoleto 2007. At 3:30, the Dubliners offer their 19th and last performance of Constance Middleton’s exquisite revenge, and then it’s to the Greensward.

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