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Street performers turn up the heat at blistering Buskerfest

Street performers and vendors took to the lawn at Algonquin Student Commons Thursday morning to showcase their talents and flaunt their wares.

Along with fire juggling and acrobatics, students had a number of activities and promotions at their fingertips. Lined up on the sidewalk outside the main entrance to the Commons were tents for various companies like Lyft, Nescafe, Uber Eats all of which were offering discount codes, coupons or free samples.

Students were taking advantage of the opportunity to save a little money, getting as much free swag as possible.

“I got a coupon for $40 off a Lyft ride,” said third-year project management student Kartik Shah as he ate a handful of free popcorn, “but our favorite was the bouncy castle.”

The bouncy castle, which was also an obstacle course according to Shah, was located on the lawn opposite the sidewalk full of vendors, along with other inflatable activities like rock climbing, basketball hoops and soccer accuracy.

If inflatable sports weren’t enough to get students excited, they could head back to an open section of the sidewalk to watch street performers Yoshi Chladny and Rockabilly Joe.

Both performers offered similar acts, juggling machetes or flaming batons and performing dangerous balancing acts. Both also had unique aspects to their respective routines.

Chladny, 30, started out juggling numerous orange balls, then moved up to the flaming batons and eventually to the machetes. He then took it one step further by placing a small piece of plywood under his feet, balancing on a steel cylinder and juggling the items as they were thrown to him by members of the audience.

Students responded to the danger, clapping and cheering as Chladny increased the heat.

“I didn’t know what to expect but I saw the fire and I was pretty excited for that,” said computer programming student Joe Perks. Chladny chose Perks out of the crowd to hold on to his flaming batons and toss them up after he had mounted the platform.

“Students are typically excited about life and everything in general, so it’s pretty easy (to perform for them),” he said. “Just having some kind of a small impact on people makes it fun.”

Rockabilly Joe had also juggled dangerous objects but instead of balancing on a steel cylinder, he performed a human flag pole on another human and then hopped on a five-foot tall unicycle to start juggling again.

“We loved it,” said first-year systems technician student Yash Patel about the show. “It was very dangerous and acrobatic.”

Other attractions at the event included a signup for specially-priced Ottawa Senators tickets and a tie-dye t-shirt station.

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