WINDSOR, ON. JULY 12, 2007. - Blues brothers look-a-likes Kyle Sipkens and Mark Lefebvre (right) survey the Bluesfest from high above during the opening day of the festival in Windsor on Thursday July 12, 2007. (Windsor Star - Tyler Brownbridge)
Archaeological ruins and texts show that stiltwalking was practised in ancient Greece as far back as the 6th century BC. The ancient Greek word for a stilwalker was κωλοβαθριστής (kōlobathristēs), from κωλόβαθρον (kōlobathron), «stilt», a compound of κῶλον (kōlon), «limb»+ βάθρον (bathron), «base, pedestal». On 8 December 1411 : Date of Namur (Belgium) town ordinance dealing with «Echasseur» or «jousting while wearing stilts»! Opposing teams of jousters, the Mélans and the Avresses, battle each other in a wild melée of blows using shoulders and elbows; shoving, jabbing, blocking and tripping their opponents. This jousters still exists today (Echasseurs Namurois). They celebrated their 600th anniversary in 2011. Modern Day Stilt Walking Stilts are used widely in many countries for the purpose of entertainment. Stilt walkers perform their skills in parades, festivals, street events and at corporate functions. Early stilt walking acts were mostly of the style of a very tall person with the costume having long trousers or skirt to cover the stilts. More recently stilt walkers have created a wide variety of costumes that do not resemble a tall person. Examples are flowers and animals. The tall person type has also expanded to include a wide variety of themes. Examples include sportsmen, historical acts and acts based on literary or film characters. One of the most recent varieties of stilt walking acts is a stilt walker riding a «stilt bicycle». This bicycle is usually an ordinary bicycle with extended seat post and handlebar stem.