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The Journal Gazette

  • Photos by Rachel Von Stroup | The Journal Gazette Maria Nava performs with a hula hoop during Buskerfest on Saturday. Buskerfest is a celebration of the street performer and features a variety of local, regional and national acts.

  • Wesley Radtke, 2, enjoys the drums/kid’s area set out by the Dumpster Drummers during Buskerfest on Saturday.

  • Rachel Von Stroup | The Journal Gazette Guests enjoy a variety of performers during Buskerfest on Saturday June 29, 2019 in downtown Fort Wayne. BuskerFest is presented by the Downtown Improvement District, and is Downtown’s celebration of the street performer and features a variety of local, regional and national acts. VIDEO

  • Rachel Von Stroup | The Journal Gazette Gavin Rhinehart, 20, performs on the acoustic guitar during Buskerfest on Saturday June 29, 2019 in downtown Fort Wayne. BuskerFest is presented by the Downtown Improvement District, and is Downtown’s celebration of the street performer and features a variety of local, regional and national acts. VIDEO

  • Rachel Von Stroup | The Journal Gazette Bonnie Manning knits a place mat while hula hooping during Buskerfest on Saturday outside the Indiana Michigan Power Center. For more on the event, turn to Page 4C.

Sunday, June 30, 2019 1:00 am

Crowds drawn to Buskerfest performers

Jugglers, bands, bubbles among ranges of acts

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

Buskerfest in downtown Fort Wayne has been entertaining folks for a decade now, opening streets and the plaza at Calhoun and Wayne streets to a variety of music, magic and mirth. 

Two-year-old Krishawn Stallings was drawn Saturday to the bubbles coming from a performer dressed as a tree, and soon, his mother and father, Shania and Cassius Stallings, aunt Jimella Stallings and grandmother Laura Stalling surrounded the entertainer for a photo. 

“He loves bubbles,” said Shania Stallings, who came to Buskerfest with the rest of the family at the suggestion of Stalling. Stalling attended Buskerfest last year and thought it was fun, particularly the fire jugglers, she said. 

“It’s a cool opportunity on Calhoun Street,” Cassius Stallings said. “You have something different that’s free.” 

Bands set up at the end of Calhoun at Berry Street with scheduled acts at the four corners of Calhoun and Wayne.

Filling in the spaces were the Summit City Cause-Players, dressed superheroes Spiderman, Batman and lesser known comic-book characters.

The Players normally work a dual purpose to entertain and raise awareness for organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the Autism Society of Indiana with photo opportunities, said the group’s founder David Eisenhauer, dressed as P.T. Barnum. 

Rick Zolman, events and programming manager the Downtown Improvement District, said Buskerfest normally draws close to 10,000 people – depending on the weather.

This year, it was certainly hot with the mercury topping 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but wasn’t even close to the scorcher that it was last year, Zolman said. 

Buskerfest is one of several events the Downtown Improvement District sponsors. Others are Fright Night, Night of Lights, Lunch on the Square, Holly Shopping and Mother’s Day Dinner. 

Jeanine and David Disler of Fort Wayne try to attend as many as they can they said to support Bill Brown, a high school classmate who will step down this year from his position as the district’s president. 

“We’ve been advocates for downtown from way back,” David Disler said. 

They bumped into Brown riding a Segway as he checked on various aspects of the fest that would go on until 10 p.m. 

They expected to see him, because he’s one of the reasons they were there. 

“’Cause of Bill,” Jeanine Disler said.

jduffy@jg.net