Flames and fun as performers take to the street

By Elaine McCahill

MORE than 180,000 people, including singer Bressie, rugby pundit Brent Pope and TV weatheman Martin King, descended on Merrion Square for the Street Performance World Championships.

With performers including sword swallowers, acrobats and jugglers, a chill-out area with hammocks and lots of music acts it attracted plenty of families for the perfect day out.

Acts performing included the Booka Brass Band who played at Glastonbury last month and gravity defying acrobatics duo Lords of Strut.

Chris Byrne from Kilmainham attended with his four children and told the Herald: "The street performers have been amazing, it's an incredibly family-friendly event with great food and a really pleasant atmosphere."

Edel Byrne from Citywest felt the same saying: "It was a great day out, we really enjoyed it.

"My daughter Madison really loved the balloon animals."

Co-Director of the Laya Healthcare-sponsored City Spectacular Mark Duckerfield brought his son Mylo along.

He said: "It's been amazing; from start to finish it's been packed. We've had over 180,000 people through the gates of Merrion Square Park this weekend.

"We've put on over 150 shows and I'd challenge anyone to find a better family-friendly festival in Dublin that's free to attend. We've expanded the street performance championship in order to put on more events throughout the city such as family picnics, outdoor screenings and children's cooking classes."

When asked about his unusual trick of balancing his son out in front of him on the palm of his hand he said "A street performer taught me how to do it; it's the benefit of organising the event."