Sparks Street between Bank and Elgin will be transformed into an extravaganza of sword-swallowing, fire-juggling, music, acrobatics, and more today as the 18th annual Sparks Street Mall International Busker Festival begins.
“It’s going to be fantastic,” said the Sparks Street Mall Authority’s executive director, Sharon McKenna. “We got a lot of Australia going on, tell you that, and a very, very amazing amount of fire.”
Performers hailing from Down Under include Dream State Circus, Flame Oz and Arizona Jones, and the many acts incorporating fire will come together at 9 p.m. tomorrow for a special show, the Fiesta of Flames.
Weather permitting, of course.
Also on the bill this year are Gustavo the Impossiblist, sword-swallowing comic Thom Selectomy, and USA Break Dancers, back by popular demand after missing last year’s Buskerfest.
The buskers are expected to bring out 300,000 people over the course of the weekend, McKenna said, and are not paid by the festival. They rely entirely on passing the hat.
Donations will also be accepted for the Children’s Wish Foundation.
Buskerfest begins today at 11:30 a.m. and runs through Monday, with a Grand Finale at 6 p.m. Unscheduled performances go on throughout the long weekend.