Tuesday, September 18, 2018


As part of the Laugh-Fest this weekend, there will be two amazing performances: a concert by Celia Farran on Friday, September 21, at 7 p.m. and physical comedy show by Kenny Ahern on Saturday, September 22, at 7 p.m. They are included in the cost of the Laugh-Fest of the Midwest (register here).

Both events will be open to the public for $15/adults $7/children under 12 at the door. We want to be able to share these incredible events with a wider audience so please invite your friends and neighbors to share in the fun.


When: Friday, September 21 at 7 p.m.
Where: Sugar Creek Bible Camp, Ferryville, Wisconsin
Cost: $15/adults $7/children under 12
Why: Because it is going to be an amazing, soulful, hilarious, uplifting and riveting performance by Laugh-Fest's Singer/Songwriter/Comedienne Celia! She dishes up the most delicious concoction of the silly and sacred delighting audiences across the nation. In addition to having the kind of silky smooth voice often associated with classic Celtic Singers, Celia excels at comedy. She often transforms right on stage into one or more of her alter-egos-whose antics typically leave the audience howling with laughter. With powerful, heart-felt vocals and wacky comedic improvisations, the audience never knows what will happen with Celia on stage.

Celia often uses sophisticated “looping” technology to perform duets, trios, and even larger ensembles with herself. Nothing is pre-recorded. She lays down a track then using the looping technology harmonizes with herself — all live and in real time. The result is an amazing listening experience for the audience.

“Go out of your way to see her. You won’t be disappointed.” - Rick’s CafĂ© Magazine

For more information about Celia, visit her Web site: www.celiaonline.com. Don't forget you can also register for her Laughter and the Voice workshop on Friday


When: Saturday, September 21 at 7 p.m.
Where: Sugar Creek Bible Camp, Ferryville, Wisconsin
Cost: $15/adults $7/children under 12

Why: Because it is going to knock your socks off! Kenny Ahern is a world-class family entertainerIt all started in 1983, when a college professor suggested that Kenny audition for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and write a research paper about the experience. That was 25 years and thousands of performances ago.

Kenny has taken master classes in physical comedy with Broadway star and Tony Award recipient, Bill Irwin and Yale School of Drama faculty head Christopher Bayes. He studied with Pavel Groditsky of The Soviet National School for the Circus and Variety Arts (movement workshop) and trained at Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Clown College—receiving a BFA (Bachelor in Fun Arts). Kenny has learned from thousands of the best directors in comedy throughout the world ... his audiences. 

An accomplished educator, Kenny has been a faculty member with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, The University of Wisconsin—La Crosse’s Clown Camp®. He has guest lectured for the the drama departments of The University of Virginia and The DePaul University, and presented workshops for The University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program.

A Few Performances of Note: Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus; The China International Children Arts Festival—Taipei, Taiwan; Variete Theatre Festival—Singapore; The 2005 World Expo—Aichi, Japan; The Brooks & Dunn Neon Circus and Wild West Tour; The International Street Performers Vaudeville Festival—Edmonton, Alberta; The Disneyland Grand Ballroom Theatre; The Moscow Circus School—Moscow, Russia; The White House; The WI, IA, MN, OH, UT, MO, SC State Fairs.

For more information, visit: http://www.kennyahern.com.

Monday, September 17, 2018


I bet you are ready for a major life change! You want more JOY, more resilience, more hopefulness, more connection, more FUN, right? I certainly did. That's why I became a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader a dozen years ago. I knew that there had to be a better way to cope with the stresses of life.

And here's the good news: there is! You can survive the complicated difficulties that get thrown at you by laughing intentionally. Learning the method of Laughter Yoga can help you do just that. Then you'll have the method to create joy in with your own biochemistry. And that shifts everything in your entire life! Imagine what it would be like to get in touch with your HAPPY SELF!

Best of all, learning Laughter Yoga gives you an easy but ever-so-useful tool that can transform the lives of others, too. You can start your very own LAUGHTER CLUB or use it to volunteer at your kid's school or the local care center or recovery group or church or mosque or whatever place people gather and want to be healthier and happier. You could even monetize this skill by offering wellness programs around your community and beyond. Read all about the benefits of the course here.

That's why I'm offering a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader Retreat this week (September 20-21)! It's a pre-event learning opportunity connected to the 11th annual Laugh-Fest of the Midwest happening this weekend. There's still time to register for the Laugh-Fest.

And there's still time for you to register for the Certified Laughter Yoga Leader Retreat, too! YAY! Register at this page. This is a rare opportunity and it's especially wonderful because it's happening at Sugar Creek Bible Camp. Don't miss this chance. We want you to be part of the group.

One more thing: here's my new professionally-produced promotional video. It's below. I'm excited to share Laughter Yoga with more and more people.

Sunday, September 2, 2018


Exciting news: On the day the Laugh-Fest begins, September 21, you can come early and take a full-day workshop with Celia! She will be offering an interactive experience called Laughter & The Voice.

Your voice is an amazing instrument. It is always with you. Come and uncover your “consistent instrument” through vocal games & discovery. Celia will guide the group through imaginative play  & exercises that will leave you with a new appreciation for this incredible expressive part of you called your voice. Expect to become more present in your body & vocal singing or speech expression whether you want to lead singing circles, audition for American Idol, or simply rock out behind your steering wheel with the windows up. We will play & sing together. You might even have a fantastic time!

Celia has been performing for over 30 years with training in stage speech & vocal singing. She currently tours the nation as a singer/songwriter/comedienne and is also a recording artist with 13 recordings to date. Celia teaches vocal workshops as well as private voice in person or via the internet. She specializes in guiding singers to finding new tones & soundscapes they didn't even know they had. www.celiaonline.com.

Increase your fun & learning by adding this workshop to your Laugh-Fest experience! The workshop runs on Friday, September 21, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Sugar Creek Bible Camp in Ferryville, Wisconsin.  If you would like to come early and stay over Thursday night at the camp, you can arrange that with me, Laughing Laura (email: laughinglauragentry@gmail.com).

Fee: $149 — Laugh-Fest attendees can register for just $99!
Contact Celia Farran to register:

Pssst: Check out the interview Celia's did about about the Laugh-Fest a couple of years ago here.

Oh, and there is still time to register for the amazing Laugh-Fest of the Midwest! You will want to seize this incredible opportunity to gather with laughers from around the country for a rollicking good time in the hills of Wisconsin.

Friday, August 24, 2018



The exciting new is that Laugh-Fest is right around the corner! It is less than a month away now (September 21-23) and so if you haven't registered, we ask you to please do so right now.


I know it takes time and money to get yourself to Laugh-Fest but let me remind you: IT IS WORTH IT! Personal renewal, wellness, friendship and laughter are awesome. Don't you deserve a boost of JOY? I know I do. It is an investment in your well-being.


This year there will be a number of new speaker with incredible information and inspiration. Of course, many of our favorite presenters will be back because it just wouldn't be Laugh-Fest without them. Check out the speaker's page here: http://www.laughinglaura.com/laughfest-presenters.html

The complete schedule is here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CJ9I2qmUIbUEdAF0ZGed2K7LR2B1WYy0/view


You can become a certified Laughter Yoga Leader or take the course again if you're already a leader. That's because I'm offering a 2 day course prior to the Laugh-Fest.

Learn more and register here: http://www.laughinglaura.com/ly-leader-training.html


Can you please help us spread the word?  We know you have networks of fabulous friends. If you're on Facebook, you can share the Laugh-Fest event with your friends: https://www.facebook.com/events/865194070343240/. The more laughter friends, the better for all of us.

Teddy Widdel is the official event organizer this year so we want to thank Teddy for her work to put this experience together for us all. If you want to lend a hand, you can email her directly at laughawiddel@gmail.com.

Can't wait to laugh with you all! YAY!

Saturday, June 23, 2018




As always, the Laugh-Fest will be held at Sugar Creek Bible Camp in Ferryville, Wisconsin where the natural beauty and hospitality can't be beat. For the first time, we're holding it in the fall. Plan to join us for a wonderful autumn experience.

We need your help! Here's what you can do.

1.  First of all, if you're a laughter enthusiast please register. We need all the best laughers to attend. That's what the experience is all about. Go to this link to register now at the early-bird rate: http://www.laughinglaura.com/laughfest.html

2. Find us amazing presenters. Maybe that's you and maybe that's someone you know. We're now accepting applications for workshop leaders. You can find the form on the Laugh-Fest page: http://www.laughinglaura.com/laughfest.html. Share it with anyone you know who might be interested in presenting.

3. Spread the word. We know you have networks of fabulous friends. If you're on Facebook, you can share the Laugh-Fest event with your friends: https://www.facebook.com/events/865194070343240/.

Teddy Widdel is the official event organizer this year so we want to thank Teddy for her work to put this experience together for us all. If you want to lend a hand, you can email her directly at laughawiddel@gmail.com.

Can't wait to laugh with you all! YAY!

Thursday, February 22, 2018


Announcing 11th annual Laugh-Fest of the Midwest. The joy and frivolity will happen at the usual venue of Sugar Creek Bible Camp in Ferryville, Wisconsin in the fall: September 21-23. This is a beautiful time of year to spend a weekend in the country so please mark your calendars now.

It is being organized this year by none other than Laughter Yoga Teacher 
and powerhouse Teddy Widdel (pictured below).

I have appointed her my successor and she's super excited to take the leadership and build upon the amazing foundation we've begun. Lots of exciting things are in store for the upcoming Laugh-Fest Check out Teddy's website here.

We'll be posting more information here at this blog and at my website when registration opens. We just wanted to give you heads-up about the date and so you can start dreaming about the fun you'll have.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Last weekend, a whole group of happy laughers from around the country gathered together in Ferryville, Wisconsin to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Laugh-Fest of the Midwest on World Laughter Day weekend (thus making it the world’s longest World Laughter Day celebration). Eighteen presenters shared with over 50 participants in the biggest and best fest so far. We thank everyone who came, who presented, who laughed and who sent us good wishes from afar. We truly are one big laughter family and everyone is welcome. The world needs more laughter.

Here are a few pictures from the amazing event.

The fun advertisement designed by Lynda Tourloukis

The official group picture (even though it doesn't quite include everybody)

What we hope Google will use someday for World Laughter Day!

The adventure began on April 29 when Lynda Tourloukis flew into LaCrosse, Wisconsin to begin her teacher training class. Rick Gramlich and I met her at the airport with her banner!

Then Rick, Lynda & I went for dessert at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Lynda laughed for joy at the Votive Candle Chapel

Then she lit a candle and prayed for her upcoming training.

We went into the shrine and did silent laughter!

Here we are outside the shrine.

We arrived at camp and found Clint Darr was already there laughing!

Lynda's class of Clint Darr and Amy Kuth. Congratulations to the two of them: they are the world's newest Laughter Yoga Teachers!

Then on Wednesday, May 3, Robert Rivest flew in from Massachusetts.

He, too, took a mini pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Robert after his spiritual renewal at the shrine.

Robert Rivest, along with Lynda Tourloukis and her teacher students, led the Lansing Laughter Club at my church.

Robert finished up the laughter session with some mindful breathing in the sanctuary.

Then Robert taught a two day Laughter Yoga Leader training. Here they all are laughing by the horse pasture.

The tranquil camp of Sugar Creek Bible Camp where it all took place.

The Laugh-Fest kicked off with an outdoor Laughter Yoga session.

Then Celia gave a breathtaking concert.

My husband, William, with my cousin and her baby.

My sister, Kathy Phelan, with my cousin's baby

Then Robert Rivest gave and amazing mime performance and showed us some of the secrets.

It was William's birthday so we had a surprise cake!

William and his nephew
It was Cinco de Mayo so we had a pinata for the kids (and kids at heart).

Joy Baldoz (who flew in from California!) and Clara Pask with their happy nametags

Rick Gramlich, Lynda Tourloukis, Celia Farran and William Gentry

Amy Kuth leading a mindful meditation on Saturday morning.

Lauren Hunt leading a community singing session on Saturday morning.

Robert Rivest, our keynote speaker, leading a mindful laughter session.

The Laughing DJs from Utah with Robert Rivest, Ellen Mercer from Oklahoma and Ray Wojciechowski (and me photo-bombing in the back!).   

Clint Darr giving his TED Talk lecture.

Ellen Mercer and Clint Darr

Ellen Mercer giving her Laughter and Chocolate presentation.

Rick Gramlich and Robert Rivest.

Then we did some dancing and a shark swam through (you never know what will happen next at Laugh-Fest).

Brenda and Kenny Ahern came to do a clowning workshop.

Kenny explaining how to water spout.

Kathy Phelan demonstrating her great water spouting.

We got all set to get pies in the face!

Michael Phelan after getting a pie in the face!

Melony Orr after getting pied.

Michael got carried away with the pie fighting (should I admit he's my nephew?)

Liz Beal shared her heart-felt story of laughing through cancer.

Julie Pugmire and Delan Jensen (known as the Laughing DJs) gave their presentation about Laughter Yoga in the college context. Go banana!

One of the afternoon options was to do the Kundalini Dancing Mediation. Here the group danced near the creek and felt true bliss.

Jane Voigts, Laughing Laura, Kathy Phelan and Carrie Hein-Paredes after the meditation (can't you see our joy!)

The beautiful Sugar Creek on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Jeff Abbas led a nature hike where participants learned about how to forage for wild foods.

Jeff and the group found a whole bunch of morel mushrooms (a Midwest delicacy) and cooked them up for all to share at dinner.

The boys had a great time.

The cabins Laugh-Festers stayed in.

Liz Beal and Aaron Covey (two of our presenters).

All ready for the costume party!

Kathy Phelan and Carrie Hein-Paredes

Amanda Rhine came from Decorah to lead us in a hip hop dance session at the party. We rocked it!

Sherry Avila strutting her stuff at the costume fashion parade.

Calvin Weis having a great time.

More hip hop dancing!

Michael Phelan and Louden Weis in the talent show.

The Chicago folks: Ellen Klein, Lynda Tourloukis, Sherry and Frank Avila

Clint Darr in the talent show.

Me with my cousin's daughter, Astin Hong

Joy Baldoz showing how to BEE happy.

My sister, Kathy Phelan, me and my cousin, Marcy Hong

The Saturday night campfire.

The field trip to Our Savior's Lutheran Church of Lansing, Iowa on Sunday morning.

Teddy Widdel frightening a parishioner in the interactive children's sermon!

Rev. Jane Voigts preaching.

Me leading worship at my church.

Celia sharing her music at worship.

We did a World Laughter Day laughter flash mob downtown Lansing!

Kathy Phelan, her son, Michael, Carrie Hein-Paredes and me

Teddy Widdel and her lovely sign.

Teddy Widdel's presentation

Lynda Tourloukis wrapping up the event

The final ritual: a run through the tunnel of affirmation!