Zany Times: San Diego Busker Festival

Street performers of every ilk and whimsy shall perform at large.

San Diego Busker Festival

WHAT ARE THE GIFTS... of the street performer to a viewer? A bit of whimsy, yes, and a bit of wow, but we'll also add that the element of surprise is part of the pleasure of watching a juggler or acrobat perform on a sidewalk or in a park. One minute you're running errands and making lists in your head and then kaboom! You're admiring a mime as she attempts to free herself from an invisible box. (Side note: Mimes, stop climbing in boxes!) Buskery, aka street performance, is a healthy dose of unscheduled whimsy and fantasy swirling through our heavily scheduled lives. It's just that "oh wow, I gotta watch this" feeling that lends to the minute, or five, you spend watching talented musicians or clowns or live statues ply their offbeat, but oh-so-necessary, trade. But if you don't mind the whole surprise element being taken away, as in, turning a corner and finding a mime, then put this famously unscheduleable delight down in your calendar, now, for the San Diego Busker Festival is straight ahead.

DATES AND DETAILS: Things will be mightily buskery -- that's buskery, not blustery, which it tends not to get 'round San Diego -- over the last weekend in March. That's Saturday, March 29 and Sunday, March 30, and the spot? The clown-ready, always lively Seaport Village and Embarcadero Park. Aerial marvelists, unicyclists, a human balloon act, a player of the Didgeridoo, and a caboodle of day-enhancing delights shall go down. It's happening both afternoons, with some busker action after dark, and the price? You guessed it: free. How many whimsical and strange and spontaneous art forms carry that tag nowadays? Answer: Too few. And how many times can we watch a mime walk against wind? Answer: Many times. Is that the best mime classic, second only to The Box? Buskerists, discuss.

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