Sideshow at Student Union leaves students shocked


Shaima Aldhulay, freshman at CSUB, stands on Kali Spinner as she lays on a bed of nails. Kayla Olivieri / The Runner

Kayla Olivieri


Fire dancing, sword swallowing, ripping a phonebook in half and walking on glass had CSU Bakersfield students laughing, covering their eyes and gasping with shock.

As a prelude to the Runner Dance Marathon, a fundraiser for the Lauren Small Children’s Center, CSUB’s student union offered a free sideshow featuring strongman George the Giant and hoop performer Kali Spinner, as well as a showing of the movie The Greatest Showman.

Standing at a whopping 7’3” tall, George the Giant is a strongman and sideshow performer with over 27 years’ experience.

George the Giant shocked students by hammering a nail up his nose, stapling money to his body, performing feats of strength and made the crowd roar with laughter at his puns. His daughter, Kali Spinner, danced with hula-hoops of fire and layed on a bed of nails while a student stood on her chest.

During the event, students were laughing, making friends, participating in the sideshow, and dancing to DJ Pantomime’s eccentric and booming music.

Candice Livingston, a sophomore and history major at CSUB, was ready and willing to participate in the night’s sideshow event.

Livingston said, “I heard that if I had a $20 bill that I could staple it to George the Giant’s forehead, and if I had a $5 bill I could staple it to his stomach. So I have my money prepared and I am ready and I am actually really excited to do both!”

After the sideshow, the movie The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman, played on a big screen for all in attendance.

Livingston is also looking forward to the Runner Dance Marathon.

Livingston said, “When I was younger I was in and out of the hospital a lot. I had scoliosis and had to see doctors a lot and stay in the hospital, so I know how those kids at Lauren Small Children’s Center feel. To be able to raise money for them for equipment, treatment, and things like that is really me giving back to the nurses and doctors that helped me get through the things that I went through.”

The Runner Dance Marathon and fundraiser for Lauren Small Children’s Center will take place on Oct. 27 from 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. at the Student Union. Students can register for the event at

Sideshow performers Strongman George the Giant and Hoop Performer Kali Spinner. Kayla Olivieri / The Runner
Brittany Perez, graduate student at CSUB, stands on George the Giant’s head as he lays face down in broken glass. Kayla Olivieri / The Runner