smile! you’re at the buskers!

waterloo was buskers-crazy this weekend!

the fun and games all started thursday eve, but i was working at the store then, and again all day friday, so my earliest opportunity to get in on the action myself was friday eve.

we were blessed with perfect weather this weekend, too, for the outdoor festivities:

this year's colour theme

i was really keen to see a 7 p.m. show on friday eve: the aerial angels from kalamazoo, michigan. i was a few minutes early, so i checked out the *midway* section of the festival for a bit:

the ferris wheel: is there a more classic carnival-type ride?!

games of chance...

i swear "toss the rings" is rigged - too bouncy!

i didn't play - just what i would need to come home with -> a giant horse!

GUESS WHAT. there is no whack-a-mole game this year. what a shame! that was the joy of my evening at last year’s buskers outing!

this year, i really wanted to see more of the cirque du soleil type acts. the aerial angels fit the bill perfectly!

the whole set up was pretty comedic, too

great to see such a huge audience with fans of all ages!

this man was beside me. i wanted to elbow him and whisper, "er, sir, mind taking photos for my blog for me?" i refrained.

mimi, isabel, and spike put on the quite the show. here are a couple of highlights:

"the warm up" - yes, that is mimi's leg that they are *stretching!* holy flexibility!

spike, mid-performance

fire-eating - it sure looked real to me!

supported only with fabric strips!

i really give isabel (the performer above and below, here) credit: she could not be that much younger than me, and she more than held her own with the acrobatic moves. plus, she had the most charisma and star-power of the three performers:

eye contact with the audience - she's looking right at me!

the finale act

wow, i give aerial angels top marks. the girls were funny, entertaining, acrobatic, and just put on a really good show.

from there, i wandered over to the main stage and caught most of ernest the magnifico who hails from redfern, australia.

unfortunately, i arrived after the show started and was at the back so it was a little hard to see and hear.

getting the crowd warmed up

goofy antics involving volunteer "victims" from the audience

this final act also involved a pogo stick, a fork on a helmet and a balloon. don't ask!

it amazes me how the performers are able to pick volunteers from the crowd who end up doing a really good job. these guys helping ernest the magnifico were perfect! this show was pretty funny, but the pace was a bit slow. still, a worthwhile performance to see, and i laughed out loud several times.

and that concluded friday evening!


saturday, i had good intentions of getting to buskers by late afternoon. we ended up putting together the ikea couch (photos at another time!) so i arrived later than planned but still caught parts or all of four shows.

first up, circo loco from ste-aurélie, québec. me = confused because the program said the show would start at 6 pm. that’s when i arrived, and i only caught the last 10 minutes! that’s ok, because this duo weren’t really my style.

their act was very dramatic, and included no talking

stilts + flames - don't try this at home, kids!

yes, that is a flaming hoop balanced on her middle! there are knives pointing inwards, too!

the grand finale: he dove thru the flaming hoop! that was pretty cool (hot?!).

since that show wrapped early, i accidentally caught most of les vitamens from sainte-brigette-de-laval, québec.

physical comedy - these guys were extremely funny!

it’s great how this worked out, as this duo’s performance ended up being one of the best shows i saw all weekend!

big guy + little guy - perfect set-up for physical comedy

the buskers program describes les vitamens as “high octane” and that’s the perfect description. very entertaining.

there’s been a staging area in front of the store all weekend, and twice i had caught snippets of a performance i really wanted to see: a duo called street circus from winnipeg, manitoba.

he's been performing since he was 10! 17 years!

this married couple, dan and kim, were just fantastic: high energy, funny, cute as anything, and they had awesome music to go along with their act. they really played to the audience, and exuded enthusiasm and humour.

these kids were so charmingly cute! great chemistry together and interaction with the crowds

so glad i had the opportunity to watch this show, beginning to end. plus, they entertained us for a full hour!

kim - another gymnast extraordinaire

never seen that kind of hoop before! he kept going around and around...

yes, she is spinning a hula hoop around her ankle!

audiences always lap up anything to do with FIRE!!!

this team gets my vote for "people's choice award" for the weekend!

the last show of my night was jason escape from boston, massachusetts. unfortunately, i should have quit after street circus, while on a high note. jason basically had one act – his big escape. he wasn’t all that funny (his ad libs were mildly amusing, at best), so the 45 minute set-up before the grand escape was rather tedious.

filling in time...

we'll just jump ahead to his upside-down, straight jacket pose...

part-way through - the ropes are off...

he's free!

i do wonder how he did that…part of the magic of a professional performer!

what a fun weekend! there was better variety in performers this year, and my yen to see acrobatics is satisfied. plus, i laughed a lot! i’d say the buskers festival this year was the best one that i have attended, over the years!


buskers outtakes:

i saw these hats in the vendors' area and it reminded me: if you are over the age of seven, please do not wear animals on your head. not a good look.

for the kittie-cat phobe, this drawing is enough to induce nightmares. i just about jumped out of my skin, at first glance!

"chalkmaster dave" - anybody else thinking of bert in mary poppins?

~ i met my cousin heidi, her husband jim, and 12 month old baby on saturday eve! had so much fun chatting, i forgot to take a photo!


favourite type of street performance? acrobatics, magic, slapstick physical comedy…what would you choose to see first? the more acrobatics the better, although i do appreciate a performer with a gift for funny ad libbed banter, too!

tomorrow‘s blog post will be up some time around mid-day! see you then!

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  • Johanna  On August 30, 2011 at 6:54 am

    Didn’t make it this year – looiks like you had fun!
    FYI – the cat picture is a still from the Alice in Wonder movie by Tim Burton with Johnny Depp (it was really very good – weird – but good!). The picture is of the Cheshire Cat. It gives me the willies a bit too, I’ll admit, but Jacob actually has a POSTER of it up in his room. Loves it. There’s no accounting for some peoples taste. 🙂

    • Johanna  On August 30, 2011 at 6:55 am

      Woops! Alice in WonderLAND! 🙂

    • 1970kikiproject  On August 30, 2011 at 7:03 am

      oh, thanks for the background info on the kittie-cat image, jo! that is TOO FUNNY that jacob has the poster in his room. i would have nightmares!!! it certainly is unique!

  • Zo  On August 29, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Man, that cat is
    CREEPY. I’m just amazed to see the variety of performances…how do people think of these things?

    • 1970kikiproject  On August 29, 2011 at 7:58 pm

      i know!!! i thought the same thing a few times over the weekend, “where in the world do they get these ideas?!” plus, some performers are really great with engaging with the crowds, ad libbing hilarious comments. definitely a gift. i had to put the cat photo in for you, you realize! 🙂

  • Gina Unger  On August 29, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Oh how I loved seeing the W’loo buskers when i lived there! and reminded me of the montreal jazz festival which had buskers doing stuff like this too. neat that there was a couple from winnipeg – i’ll have to investigate when they perform here now! great recap, cath. glad you enjoyed. 🙂

    • 1970kikiproject  On August 29, 2011 at 11:53 am

      Oh, the winnipeg couple was just the CUTEST! Do keep your eyes open for them – “street circus” – if they ever perform in winnipeg. And yes, I thought of you right away when I saw they were from winnipeg! AND I remembered that we went to buskers together, too, at least once!

  • g2-55680831163e76fec0743a15184137d2  On August 29, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Lawrence, KS (about 30 min from here and home of the Kansas Jayhawks!!!) had a two-day busker festival a couple of weeks ago. They’re so much fun aren’t they. Like a mini carnival. Yours was quite colorful. Thanks for all the photos. I have got to get a camera soon.

    There’s a new item on my bucket list – a trip to Waterloo to visit a bloggie friend.

    • 1970kikiproject  On August 29, 2011 at 9:23 am

      that sounds good, johanna! come up for buskers! that’s fun that you have a festival near you, too. it IS like a carnival with all the rides, food, sights to see…a real summer highlight!

  • Holly  On August 29, 2011 at 9:02 am

    You got some great pictures Cathy — I’ve really only seen acts like that on TV, although I’ve seen some of the fabric/aerial dancers live before — they are truly amazing! I’m sure I’d end up hurting myself big time!

    • 1970kikiproject  On August 29, 2011 at 9:12 am

      thanks, holly! i am not one to take a zillion photos and then edit to choose the best ones, so i was pretty pleased that the point-and-shoot camera + minimal photo taking got some action shots! oh, i am so inflexible it’s not funny, so my jaw was practically on the ground watching these performers! i did think “ouch!” quite a few times, too!

  • Lisa  On August 29, 2011 at 7:15 am

    What’s your coffee status? Every time I’m enjoying my coffee now, I’m thankful I have not lost my taste for it!

    • 1970kikiproject  On August 29, 2011 at 8:19 am

      STILL NO COFFEE!! blech! i just have the biggest negative picture in my mind, and when i conjure up the image of me actually drinking coffee, i physically cringe…as i am doing right now. you should see my face!!! 🙂 so please do enjoy a cup a day for me, ok?! thanks for sharing about your local fests! fun that we are heading into fall fair season. acrobatics, singing, dancing…we need a trip to canada’s wonderland, lisa! (or a cruise!) haha!

  • Lisa  On August 29, 2011 at 7:14 am

    What a great re-cap! Buskers looks like tons of fun 🙂
    We have carnivals and fairs here, but nothing like those performers (definitely the rides, though). In fact…our local “Fair” has more of the redneck stuff—demolition derby, tractor pull, pig races. I usually skip it, but Matthew is all over it (good thing his dad can take him!).
    I tend to lean toward the acrobatic and “cirque du soleil” type performances. I love singing and dancing stuff too!
    There was a tiny (but popular) fair at the catholic church around the corner from our new place this past weekend…Joe went to run a race early Sat morning, and he said the carnival workers were all sleeping in their cars…

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