It's not April, but Saturday belonged to fools. From the top of Church St. to City Hall Park, they rush into downtown Burlington as street-performers take to the stage.
Rutland resident Dave Roberts and his six and seven-year old daughters made the two-hour trip from Rutland to partake in the celebration. "Spur of the moment, fun," he said, "saw it and said 'let's go try.'" He said the Burlington City Art's Festival of Fools was worth the trip.
More than 200 ambled about City Hall Park some drawn by the celebration and others by Burlington's Farmers Market. Burlington City Arts Communications Directer Eric Ford said the shared space and a gorgeous day provided a perfect atmosphere. "Church St. and the park are natural places for performers," he added.
The event is in its 5th year but festival-goers never see the same act twice. "What's new - is all of the performers; every year we find new performers from all over the world," said Ford, "this year we have performers from Australia, Scotland, England and all over the United States and Canada."
The festival is paid for through donations and sponsorships. Though street performers are on stage, their income is still based on impressing the crowd. "They're buskers," explains Ford, "so they ask you if you like the performance to give a couple bucks their way."
Roberts says that's a good deal even if juggling skills don't turn out to be a job skill. "They're having fun," said Roberts of his kids, "this is old-fashioned America, this is sort of what we moved back to Vermont for, where you can come play and just relax and the kids can have fun."
Performers who taught kids the early steps to juggling say it's fun to see their craft pique someone's interest. "You can tell when there's people who get hooked," said 'Bucket of Fun's' Trisha Denton,. Just don't call it a fool's errand.