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Busker Fest returns for Memorial Day weekend, timed with the closure of downtown SLC streets

Touring stunt acts will share space with local musicians and other performers May 27-29.

(Photo courtesy of Salt Lake City Arts Council) Cate Great, who combines circus acrobatics with comedy, is one of the featured performers set for SLC Busker Fest, May 27-29, 2021, in downtown Salt Lake City.

People walking along downtown Salt Lake City’s streets ahead of Memorial Day won’t have to contend with car traffic — but they may see the occasional acrobat or sword swallower, with the return of SLC Busker Fest.

The festival of street performers will return after a coronavirus-induced hiatus for its third year of open-air music and other talents, the Salt Lake City Arts Council announced Wednesday. The performances are free and family friendly.

The dates — Thursday, May 27, through Saturday, May 29 — coincide with the start of the Downtown Alliance’s Open Streets Initiative, designed to attract visitors to downtown restaurants and businesses. Streets will be closed to cars on weekend evenings during the summer.

(Photo courtesy of Salt Lake City Arts Council) Beth Byrd-Lonski, a professional mime and clown, is one of the featured performers set for SLC Busker Fest, May 27-29, 2021, in downtown Salt Lake City.

For Busker Fest, performers will be stationed along Main Street between 200 South and 400 South, and on Gallivan Avenue, from 6 to 10 p.m. on May 27 and 28, and 4 to 10 p.m. on May 29. Organizers said they expanded the festival to three nights to allow the audience to remain socially distanced.

The arts council announced six featured buskers for the festival. They are:

Beth Byrd-Lonski, a professional mime and clown who also will teach some workshops while in Salt Lake City.

Cate Great, who combines circus acrobatics with comedy.

Leapin’ Louie, whose comedy show features lasso and whip tricks, juggling, high unicycle and other stunts.

Sam Malcolm, a juggler whose act includes tossing cleavers while perched on an unsupported ladder.

Marcus, billed as a “funny man who does tricks,” combines comedy with juggling and stunts.

Martika, a “one-woman stunt show” whose interactive presentation includes fire eating, barbed-wire hula hooping, sword swallowing and something called “the human cutting board.”

For details on the festival, and how performers can get a city permit in order to join the event, go to buskerfestslc.com.

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