Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.  

Brattleboro Museum & Art Center held its 14th Annual Domino Toppling Extravaganza on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Veteran domino toppler and YouTube superstar Lily Hevesh returned with her team to assemble over 23,000 dominos in two and half days that covered the museum’s Wolf Kahn & Emily Mason Gallery floor.

BRATTLEBORO — Brattleboro Museum & Art Center grants top-notch domino toppling artists the freedom each year to design a setup that tests their creativity and wows local audiences.

“What I love about this event is we get to do really anything in the setup,” veteran domino toppler and YouTube superstar Lily Hevesh said. “It’s really free-form. Nothing is super planned out so it allows us to make the most creative tricks, and it’s just great to have a space to do this, where the community comes in.”

Hevesh, of Massachusetts, was joined Sunday by domino artists Shane O’Brien, Chris Wright and Nathan Heck. It had taken them about 24 hours over three days to come up with the design covering the museum’s Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Gallery Floor with 23,485 dominos for the 14th Annual Domino Toppling Extravaganza.

“Lily Topples the World,” a documentary about Hevesh featuring a scene from the museum event in 2018, was picked up by Discovery Plus. It also won the Grand Jury Award at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival and the Audience Award at the 2021 San Francisco International Film Festival.

Hevesh has been traveling to different areas, screening the film.

“The response has been so positive,” she said. “I’m just so glad people are connecting with my story, and they’re relating to the domino community and myself personally. It’s really been a great experience.”

As Hevesh and the other artists made slight adjustments to the setup before the toppling started, museum director Danny Lichtenfeld warned the crowd not to get too close to the dominos out of concern they could fall before the event began.

“This one is very unique because we separated the sections into angry versus calm,” Hevesh said of the setup. “So on the left side, we have a lot of fire colors, we have Anger from ‘Inside Out,’ we have a lot of sharp lines and fast tricks that crash. And over here, we have a lot of flowing lines that are a little bit slower, much more like peaceful, curving edges and it has a very unique contrast between the two. And then in the center, it sort of fuses both the angry and calm together.”

Support our journalism. Subscribe today. →

People came from all around New England for the event, with a family even visiting from as far as Washington, D.C.

“We arranged the foliage for you, to coincide with the dominos,” Lichtenfeld said as he emceed the event.

Many attendees were first-timers, and many said they follow Hevesh and had seen the film. Several audience members consider themselves domino artists.

Hevesh said she believes more people are joining the domino toppling community. She has her own brand of dominos, H5 Domino Creations, sold at stores and online.

Asked what’s next, Hevesh said she plans to keep “getting domino art out there” and possibly expand her company’s offerings.

“Hopefully at some point, I’d like to get a bigger studio to make bigger projects and then, yeah, just go from there and keep making videos, of course,” she said.

Mike Perrucci of Pennsylvania recalled toppling about 7,000 dominos when he first started the event with his brother at the request of Lichtenfeld back in 2008. Previously, the brothers were toppling dominos in their basement and posting videos online.

Perrucci said he still dabbles in domino toppling, coming up with smaller setups in his kitchen and filming videos now and then. He returned to Brattleboro Sunday to check out the event.

“I’m really glad it’s still going after all these years,” he said. “It’s good to see a new generation of domino topplers.”

PURCHASE PHOTOS