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Monday, 9 July 2012

Edmonton's 20th Annual Street Performance Festival!

Yesterday, Brittany and I went to Edmonton's 20th annual Street Performance Festival! The last couple of summers in Toronto I had heard about such festivals, but was never able to attend one before because I was always working.

We went to Churchhill Square, that place where I took the pictures of the large chess set, fountain, and Art Gallery for a previous post, and it was a hubbub of activity. Yes, a hubbub.

It certainly looked the part, with food booths lining the streets, and the smell of popcorn and hotdogs in the air. The temperature was 33 or 34°C and it was quite humid out. This is unusual, as I'm given to understand it, of Edmonton, but seemed appropriate for the event.

The first act we saw was called The Lords of Swag. Two men, dressed in bright, entirely too small jumpsuits, performing a dance/comedy act which was pretty entertaining. Lifts, spins, all of that, mixed with working the crowd and infectious smiles, it was a good act upon which to start the day.

I was too busy having fun to remember to use the camera on my phone. Thankfully, Brittany had the wherewithal, as well as the extra day (she went back the next day), to take some photos. Here are some of the shots of the Lords of Swag!

They didn't do this bit with the ladder when I was there.

The next was Antonne, all the way from Montreal's Just for Laughs festival. Dressed in a tuxedo and a Bowler hat, I felt bad for him, considering how hot it was. His act was highly skilled, involving sleight of hand, balancing, and he himself was funny and good with the crowd. Enlisting the help of a little boy from said crowd, Antonne dressed the boy up to match him, little tux and oversized hat, and even paid the little boy $10 for his help. It was a nice gesture and the look on the boy's face proved that it made his day. The finale consisted of a delicate balancing act, involving a flaming candle, and some matchstick boxes. Coordinated all to music, I liked his act quite a lot.

Wandering around the square, Brittany treated us both to a lemonade, made with real lemons, from a booth which looked, well, like a lemon, haha. Making our way back to where we started, we caught an act which was halfway through. I don't remember his name nor the name of the act, but he played the fool's role splendidly. Japes, juggling, and tomfoolery, he evoked the sympathy and delight of the crowd.

Next, was Chairman Jim. Loud and quick-witted, his skit involved a couple of interesting tricks with what he called CPCs, crappy plastic chairs. One trick was particularly interesting; he sat 4 chairs around each other, and a person to each chair. He instructed them to lie back, thus making the knees of one person support another. Once this was done, he removed the chairs, and the foursome was self-supporting. He also stacked the chairs in a most peculiar way and balanced it on his chin. The most entertaining part was when he used two volunteers from the crowd to hold a giant slingshot, which he used to fire bread, donuts, and a bran muffin high into the air seemingly aimed at people across the square.

The last was King Pong, the Ping Pong propulsionist. Starting with some neat balloon tricks, including one where he split a balloon over his head without it deflating, making two balloons, and another where he did the same, but made several smaller balloons fitted inside the first. The latter was interesting as neither Brittany nor I had seen that before, and he even was able to use the main balloon as a gun, firing the little ones. The last part of his act involved showing us just how much time he must have spent in his life with ping pong balls in his mouth. He did trick shots, knocking over cans, hitting specific targets, all by shooting ping pong balls out of his mouth. It was interesting, but one of those acts where you kind of think, "Well, I'm glad someone has that talent, someone other than me."

And that concluded what we saw. We could have stayed longer, but it was hot, and we had been in the sun for quite awhile. It was nice to get out again, and spend some time together. Work takes up a considerable portion of our lives, and while I get weekends off, she doesn't. It's nice to relax, but sometimes it's nice to get out and I don't really find the notion of wandering around Edmonton by myself to be that entertaining, haha.

The next big event to look forward to is my August long weekend party! I'll be flying back to Ontario, (with Brittany!) thereby to spend the weekend with friends and family camping, swimming, and just having some summer fun! I miss all those back home and am really looking forward to it!

I thank you all for reading, and promise that I should have some more generally interesting posts sometime in the near future. For now, you'll have to "suffer" through my diary-like process.

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