About Stilt Walkers - About Faces Entertainment

About Stilt-Walkers

Chuck F performing at an important residence in Washington, D.C.

Stunning Jules B and her colleague lighting up a party!

Kaylin J was sunshine on stilts at an outdoor event!

Stilt-walkers are a common sight at parades, festivals, and celebrations of all kinds. Although by definition they are simply individuals who are able to walk on the stilt apparatus, today these entertainers do so much more! Creating instant ambiance, dressed to the nines and ready to show off their custom costuming and great energy, stilt-walkers are a wonderful addition to large, outdoor events.

The Stilt-Joust of Namur. Source: Wikipedia.

If you’re curious about who had the bright idea to hop up on a pair of stilts, it may surprise you to know that the history of humans on stilts goes all the way back to ancient Greece (doesn’t it always?). In ancient times, stilts were used for a variety of utilitarian purposes. Giving the wearer an additional two or three feet of height made them a great tool for shepherds minding flocks of sheep, and communities in marshy or swampy environments used them to easily stay above the mire while on the move.

Not all ancient uses of stilts had a clear use. For more than 600 years, an annual “Stilt-Joust” has taken place in Namur, Belgium. The tradition came was first recorded in 1411, when the lord of Namur banned the practice among his people for the next thirteen years. Apparently, the tradition was too beloved to be banned, and in the intervening years Illustrious names from Napoleon Buonaparte to Peter the Great of Russia were entertained by stilt-jousts in Namur. The tradition continues to this day.

Stilts came in handy not only to keep feet dry or eyes elevated – the increase in the stride length of the walker made it possible to perform amazing long-distance journeys on foot. In 1891, a man named Sylvain Dornon walked from Paris to Moscow in 58 days – a distance of at least 1,700 miles, meaning that Dornon covered more than 28 miles per day on his stilts.

Even through their long history of applied and recreational uses, stilts and stilt-walkers have retained their identity as a novelty and an admirable skill.

Stilt-walkers create an instant sense of fun and celebration anywhere. Most frequently, they are booked for events that already boast a variety of attractions as a source of festive ambience and, today, social media photos. With many stilt-walkers offering bespoke costuming from Uncle Sam to LED fairy creatures and even “living vines”, these strolling entertainers always steal the show. Because they stand head and shoulders (literally!) above the crowd, hiring a stilt-walker with on-theme costuming and props is a great way to create instant ambiance and drive home an event theme.

Laura E was springtime on stilts at an event in 2023.

Tim M performing as a “living tree” in MD.

Holiday themed stilt-walkers provided for a Christmas event in Honolulu, 2022.

Stilt-Walkers Sharifa B and Devin C stunning at a 2023 conference.

That’s not to say that stilt-walkers do nothing more than walk around! When walking in parades, they make a point to be larger-than-life, interacting with the crowd and bringing up the energy. Some stilt-walkers are even skilled enough to incorporate juggling or sleight of hand magic, making them a formidable triple threat!

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