Nov 08, 2010

Austin’s First Annual Street Magic Festival

Photos and story by Stephanie Bathurst

Eager children lined the darkening streets, clowns crafted balloon animals, ventriloquists carried their wooden sidekicks on their shoulders, and acrobats fearlessly dove backwards off a stage. Hundreds packed into the Red River District between 5th and 6th Streets in September for Austin’s first Austin Street Magic Festival.

Despite the presence of some 500 spectators, spotting Cedar Stevens was easy. Her white canvassed tent, filled with a colorful array of hand made hula-hoops, appealed to people of all ages. Children and their parents whipped their bodies in awkward shapes, bonding over a simple form of play that hasn’t changed in generations.

Many other forms of entertainment were provided as well. Acrobat teams spiced the crowds with excitement while magicians quietly entertained spectators along the dark streets. Both young and old were performing magic on a night when all were invited to participate.