What’s any celebration without its fair share of street performers? Roaming Street Entertainment was on-site Thursday, February 2nd in downtown Indianapolis as the Super Bowl XLVI celebration was underway for the 7th straight day. With its lively collection of balloon artists, jugglers and magicians Roaming Street Entertainment brings a festive element to almost any celebration.
These acts are as fun for adults as they are for kids. OK, you probably won’t find many adults lining up for balloon figures, unless they’re buying one for their kids, but that doesn’t diminish them in any way. Perhaps what makes these acts so compelling, aside from the fact that they appeal to the kid in us all, is that that they demonstrate mastery of a skill that is as mesmerizing as it is challenging. Honestly, who among us hasn’t tried to juggle tennis balls or other random household objects at one point or another, only to quickly grow frustrated and give up minutes later? Just think what could’ve been had you fought through that frustration to become a competent juggler or magician…or balloon artist: At the very least, you would have acquired a valuable party skill! Suffice it to say that some outcomes are for the best!
But while Roaming Street Entertainment’s acts were officially sanctioned, there were many more street-side acts that, although unsanctioned, were every bit as entertaining, just in a different way. Local bluegrass group Flatland Harmony Experiment, for example, was on the scene strumming out upbeat bluegrass gems like only they know how to do. This exciting new group is actually more than a pure Bluegrass act. They combine such disparate genres as Bluegrass, Jazz, Rock, Folk, Raggae, Roots and Americana, all into a mixture they like to call “nügrass”.
Scott Nelson, the band’s upright bassist, says the band has played together for 7 years. While not allowed to assemble in Super Bowl Village, the band says they had no problem setting up for an impromptu performance on Monument Circle.
But this wasn’t the only band to put their work on display in front of these large and roaming crowds. Another street side act included a 2-man band which consisted of nothing more than a 3-piece drum kit and saxophone. But these guys were actually quite entertaining, not to mention well-deserving of the many tips they received.
Another, far less sophisticated group consisted of these 2 rogue percussionists, with nothing but several 5-gallon containers and a couple sets of drumsticks. What these guys lacked in natural talent they more than compensated for with heart and passion.
Congregate enough people together in the same place and eventually the odds dictate there will be at least a few individuals who stand out from the crowd in some exceptional way. Such was the case in downtown Indianapolis during this Super Bowl XLVI celebration. In this particular case, it was a couple very creative displays of attire that turned heads and created instant photo opportunities for not only these stand-out characters but for nearly everyone in their general vicinity.
One thing that is true of most people is that they don’t like to stand out, especially in an unusual way. One thing that is also true is that life is usually a lot more interesting when at least a few people do stand out in an unusual-yet-positive way. But standing out takes a certain amount of courage—that or a certain lack of inhibition. One can only hope they earned at least a few tips. They certainly earned it.