It’s a good year to be a Globetrotter. If you think you’ve seen the Harlem Globetrotters everywhere these past few months, you are absolutely correct. Appearing on all sorts of TV shows and getting tons of airtime for the causes and groups they support, the Harlem Globetrotters are back in a big way. In their 85th season, the Harlem Gobetrotters “4 Times the Fun” tour runs all the way through to August, making stops all over the US and Canada. The unique mash up of theatre and sporting event is one that is truly captivating for all ages and what makes the Globetrotters as delightful today as they were in our youth. Between slam dunks and difficult plays, the Globetrotters treat their audience to a show that is full of slapstick and silly, but also has skill and elegance to spare. Playing against their arch rivals, the Washington Generals, who are arguably the worst defensive ball players in the history of the world, my money will always go on the Harlem Globetrotters for the win. In fact, it turns out their record is nearly perfect, with a winning streak that I’m guessing is unmatched in any other basketball team in history. Let’s just say it’s not the Washington General’s year, or let’s just be honest and say that I certainly wouldn’t want to be the team playing the Globetrotters each night. Which makes it all the more disappointing that the Harlem Globetrotters lost when they visited Seattle last month… Just kidding. The Harlem Globetrotters descended on Seattle and left our house looking like a meeting of their Fan Club had just passed through. Now three official Globetrotter balls (one peanut sized and two official-sized and all of them signed by members of the Globetrotters) are being bounced around our home by sweat band adorned youngsters who have limitless stories to tell. In an event that was quite possibly “the best night ever” of my nephew’s life, the Harlem Globetrotters have managed to out-do all other acts of awesome aunt-ness that I have ever bestowed upon him. And, for the record, I am an awesome aunt. Trust me. Part of what makes the Globetrotter experience so memorable is that more than most plays or sporting events, you feel like you are truly a part of the night. With young fans being whisked to the court to participate in the show, the whole event seems really accessible. In a far cry from other sporting and spectator events, the Harlem Globetrotters allow their show to spill into the stadium seats and encourage audience participation. Adding to the fun this year was the addition of the “4 point shot” which is a shot taken from one of 4 specifically marked spots on the court. But , here’s the catch – only during the last few minutes of each quarter when the “4 point” music is playing can players score the 4, which makes it awfully fun for youngsters to dance along to and cheer. Leave it to the Globetrotters to push the limits and shake up the game as we know it, which is something they have come to be known for and why they still have audiences on their feet after 85 years. After the game ended was a spectacle I have never before witnessed, where the entire arena audience was invited to meet the players and have their Globetrotters paraphernalia signed by their favorite stars. And even in that crazy atmosphere of smiling kids and their proudly displayed merchandise snapping pictures and getting signatures, we had a good time. The players were always gentlemen, calling my daughter “princess” and even continuing to sign long after the autograph session had ended, thus reaffirming in my mind what the Harlem Globetrotter name is all about. And for those of you who are wary of crowds, especially in an arena setting, you will be happy to note that even in a giant arena of both young and old, the entire audience seemed to remember that the fans were there for the magic of the event and were on their best crowd behavior. Nicely waiting in line and even letting small kids through, it seems the whole group was making sure that kids stayed with their attending adults and adding to the feel of a wholesome family show. And, it’s hard to penalize a show for its popularity – I mean, who wouldn’t want to be part of a family tradition with so much history behind it? The Harlem Globetrotters truly are the rare entertainment event that has managed to stay current and relevant while maintaining the feel of an old fashioned show. Using the classic good vs. bad story line, with music and comedy to propel the evening, the Globetrotters’ show manages to transfix our young just as it has for generations of basketball fans. For those of you that are thinking about taking your children to see the Harlem Globetrotters, you can check out the cities remaining on the tour by clicking HERE. And, to sweeten the deal, there is a $7 discount you can get for each ticket at www.harlemglobetrotters.com using the promotional code: PTPA to redeem the coupon. Not valid on VIP or courtside seats, online only and is valid until the day before the show. Official site: http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/ While there, you should explore a bit. Kids can send email fan letters to the players (which Globetrotters players personally respond to) and see Globetrotter history, photos and news.