For the last two Aprils, the city of Eustis has welcomed street performers from across the US to their annual Eustis Buskers Festival. The event is a family oriented, free-to-attend festival presented on outdoor stages called “busker stops” scattered around the small downtown area.
Visitors vote for their favorite busker act and watch the finalists compete for the Eustis Busker Festival Grand Prize! And the buskers ask for donations, which some did with considerable enthusiasm.
A busker is an individual or group that offers entertainment in public places; they are also known as street performers. Performances ranged from music, dance, comedy, visual art, and circus acts.
Our favorite was Nick, of the Dave and Nick Show. He was able to escape from a set of 40-pound chains, a straight jacket, locks and straps in less than three minutes. But the most amazing thing was that he squeezed his entire full-grown body through an unstrung tennis racket. Weirdly fascinating.
At 6:00 PM, the Grand Finale was held featuring the top performers from each division. It took place on the bandshell stage in a lovely lakeside park. Performers competed for the grand prize, and the People’s Choice Award.
The winner of the Grand Prize was George Gilbert, who took home a check for $5,000. Gilbert, a comedy magician, wowed the crowd as he balanced a sword on his tongue, ate fire, and swallowed a 3-foot balloon. Our contortionist favorite took the People’s Choice Award and won $1,500.
Everyone seemed to have a good time, though the quality of the rest of the entertainment was a bit mediocre and the requests for donations seemed at times a bit too aggressive.
Website: Busker Festival