Port Credit Buskerfest
by Festival Nomad "Scoop" Correspondent, Judi McWilliams
The Port Credit Buskerfest was a three-day event with over 40 professional Buskers, 8 staging areas, 4 spectacular fire shows and lots of “surprise fly pitches” throughout downtown Port Credit. With the incredible Xtreme Finale on the Sunday and with every Busker performing to support local charities, it was sure to be a successful weekend! Buskers are gutsy street performers. Theatre in the street, comedians, contortionists, magicians and mimes, sword-swallowers and human statures, jugglers, escape artists and acrobats. Each performer was trying to out perform the last for a toss of a coin in the hat and gain a large audience too.
When we arrived at mid-day, the place was packed with people. We visited to the Port Credit Buskerfest with Gary's high school friend, Tom and his partner, Rachel. Sometimes travelling to an event with another couple can be challenging, especially if they have different interests, but today it was exciting today to share the festival with our friends and experience the event from their perspective. It added another dimension to see it from their perspective.
Port Credit, Mississauga was my home town for the first 26 years of my life. The large park where I once spent countless hours swinging on the swings and playing baseball in the diamonds was transformed into a large vendor and exhibition area. Food booths enticed visitors to taste their treats while colourful displays of trinkets and treasures lured folks in. Busker performances are strategically placed all over the park. This allowed visitors to pick and choose what type of Busker they wanted to see and when.
One large permanent gazebo in the park had various activities for kids to try, including busker educational demonstrations. At the time we walked by, the kids were learning how to juggle. Colourful sidewalk chalk displays were being created right before our eyes. One Busker that caught our attention for her entire show, did a hula hoop performance that was extraordinary dangerous and challenging. She had two men from the audience assist her, which added great fun to the act. You almost need to see the photos below to understand what I am trying to articulate. The skills, energy, concentration and determination of this Busker were outstanding.
One aspect to the Port Credit Buskerfest that was different than street Busker Festivals that we have attended in the past, was the variety and massive area that this Buskerfest encompassed. As I mentioned, many of the activities occurred in the large park, beautiful gardens led the way to other venues, where many more activities took place. The main street of downtown Port Credit was the last stop that we could manage this day. After spending so much time in the Park, we couldn’t believe how much more activity was taking place on the downtown streets.
With all the congestion and large audiences, I found, this summer, that one of the “Best Event View’s" took place at the Port Credit Buskerfest. Thousand of people flocked the streets to watch the amazing talent performers. With the crowds came congestion. The performers welcomed people to “sit” in the front row on the street to “get a great view”. I follow their advice and "sat" on the pavement! Although I was extremely “hot”, from the heat of the road, I “got the best shots”! A little pain for a lot of gain! It was amazing to watch the interaction that took place with the performers and the audience. I do believe you could have heard a “pin drop” during their daredevil acts. Their dedication and passion was clearly evident and pleasing the audience seems to be their reward... in part. The audience was very generous with their tips to the Busker performers. The Port Credit Buskerfest was one of the most diverse Buskerfests we have attended. The only word of advice, when going to any Busker Festival, pack some patience as crowds can be large. If you are polite and patient, it is definitely be worth effort.