Buskerville Brings Miles of Children’s Smiles To Windsor’s Historic Walkerville

For three nights and two days, a part of Walkerville, known normally as Argyle Road, became Buskerville. Although it doesn’t have a postal code, without question, letter carriers could easily find it during the inaugural Buskerville Festival just by listening for the laughter children. And in the end, buskers are really about children of all ages.

Young girl cheers on the Monsters of Schlock during Buskerville Fest.

Young girl from the audience of Buskerville Festival invited into the performance pitch by Orbax of The Monsters of Schlock on August 11, 2018. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

To show how important the youngsters are, Wacky Chad put out what he claimed was a $400 VIP balloon couch to create a front row seat for a few children. Chad himself is no shrinking violet when it comes to tricks and stunts, at times riding a bicycle – so small even tiny children, who had a chance, could barely make it move – skipping rope on a pogo stick and balancing on a tall unicycle. He needed the help of three strong men from the audience just to climb on board, much to the delight of an impromptu audience numbering in the hundreds.

Children sitting on inflatable couch belonging to busker Wacky Chad.

Wacky Chad’s comfortable inflatable couch gave some children a front row seat to his stunt comedy performance at the Buskerville Festival in Windsor, Ontario’s historic Walkerville neighbourhood on August, 10, 2018. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Mind you, it was a small audience for Everett, Massachusetts-based Chad who has appeared with distinction on the Gong Show, America’s Got Talent and even a Superbowl.

Wacky Chad smiles as he prepares to juggle while riding a tall unicycle at the Buskerville Fest in Windsor, Ontario,

Wacky Chad smiles as he prepares to juggle while riding a tall unicycle at the Buskerville Fest in Windsor, Ontario, across the street from Walkerville Brewery on August 10, 2018. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Not that Chad brags about where he’s been, the real story is the quality of his work and that of all the entertaining buskers, six acts in total, who showed up as planned on Argyle. They performed in two pitches. In between, a music pitch brought some real excitement to the city. Toronto’s The Old Salts took to the stage on Saturday to reveal six new songs scheduled for their upcoming release this fall in an EP titled “Fisherman Jake.” The band has a refreshing solid rock and roll style backed with the drumming skills of Harrow’s Jeff Harrison.

Busker Pyromeo prepares to light a baton on fire for his performance.

PyRomeo gets set to juggle a burning baton while performing at the Buskerville Fest in Walkerville, Ontario, on August 10, 2018. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

If there is one thing to know about the life of a busker, it is if you make it to the top and become a headline act, you can do quite well. Peterborough’s Kalen Davidson, known professionally as PyRomeo, has been combing hilarious one liners and fire for over 20 years. Now a father, he prefers to perform mostly in Canada and found Buskerville, which was run to perfection, fully satisfying.

After Walkerville’s Buskerville Festival he heads to the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto for an extended stay. Travel, out of necessity, is something all the buskers do, moving around to bring their brand of entertainment whenever a crowd forms.

The Monsters of Schlock performing at Buskerville in Windsor, Ontario.

Burnaby Q. Orbax lifts a basket with chains held by hooks on his lower eyelids while Sweet Pepper Klopek watches. The duo make up The Monsters of Schlock and they are show performing at the Buskerville Festival in Windsor, Ontario, on Friday, August 10, 2018. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

For former Windsorite, and University of Guelph physics lecturer Burnaby Q. Orbax, one half of the Monsters of Schlock, it will mean a month in Texas as part of October Haunted House events. Buskers, it turns out are quite flexible, both in the materials in their act and where they perform and who they perform with.

Orbax has formed a partnership with his “brother” Niagara Falls native Sweet Pepper Klopek, the lead singer of the punk band The Legendary Klopeks and a genuine busker in his own right.

The Monsters of Schlock's Pepper stands on Orbax's hand while drinking a beer during Buskerville Festival.

The Monsters of Schlock’s Pepper stands on Orbax’s hand while drinking a beer during Buskerville Festival in Windsor, Ontario, on August 11, 2018. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Sometimes buskers can be a little deceptive. In fact, at one point Orbax claimed Sweet Pepper could drink a can of beer while standing on one hand. It turned out to be not that hard. He drank while he stood on his partner’s hand.

The Monster of Schlock's Orbax lifts a bucket connected to his eyelids by chains and hooks.

Orbax from the Monsters of Schlock lifts a bucket using only chains hooked on his lower eyelids during Buskerville Fest in Walkerville, Ontario, on August 11, 2018. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Despite this, Orbax is known for real daring feats of strength. One of his penchants is to hang chains from his bottom eyelids to lift things.

Buskerville Festival founder Mark Boscariol (left) poses with executive director Jason Henderson

Buskerville Festival founder Mark Boscariol (left) poses with executive director Jason Henderson at an event press conference at Good Neighbour Restaurant on June 13, 2018. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Placed around the site where signs with the hash tag “Be Like Mark,” reminders of the Festival’s founder, Mark Boscariol. The local restauranteur and active community supporter tragically died suddenly at the age of 51. To his honour, proceeds from Sunday’s group show were directed to one of his favourite projects – the little things matter program: http://www.dwcc.ca/littlethingsmatter

Augmenting the Festival was a bit of evening entertainment, not suitable for children. Busk at the Brewery ran Friday and Saturday nights with more mature busker entertainment at the Walkerville Brewery which itself is a fixture of Argyle. It was also one of the Buskerville sponsors along with Liuna 625 and Motor City Community Credit Union, to name a few.

Crowd cheers during Buskerville Fest

Audience claps and cheers for the Monsters of Schlock during the inaugural Buskerville Festival in Windsor, Ontario, on August 11, 2018.

Buskerville Festival volunteers

The inaugural Buskerville Festival in Windsor, Ontario’s Olde Walkerville ran perfectly with the help of volunteers like Roman, Jane and Kevin. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Pyromeo with burning torches during Buskerville Fest.

Pyromeo holding two torches that are on fire during Buskerville Festival in Windsor, Ontario, on August 11, 2018. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Busker Seb Whipits performing during Buskerville Fest.

German busker Sebastian ‘Seb’ Whipits, one of the personas of Buskerville executive director Jason Henderson, cracks burning whips while riding a tall unicycle in Windsor’s historic Walkerville on August 11, 2018. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

The Old Salts Band

The Old Salts band, as they appeared at Buskerville Festival, from left, Jeff Harrison, Will Pettigrew, Devin Staple and James Da Mota plan to release “Fisherman Jake” in the fall of 2018, a six song EP. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Busker and stunt comedian Wacky Chad at Buskerville in Windsor, Ontario.

Although Wacky Chad is, well wacky, he is also a well-practiced stunt man.

The Flyin' Hawaiian, Sara Kunz , performs with hula hoops atop a tall "palm tree" during the inaugural Buskerville Festival

The Flyin’ Hawaiian, Sara Kunz , performs with hula hoops atop a tall “palm tree” during the inaugural Buskerville Festival on the streets of historic Walkerville, Ontario, on August 11, 2018. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

The Flyin' Hawaiian, Sara Kunz , receives a five dollar tip from a baby boy and his father during the inaugural Buskerville Festival

The Flyin’ Hawaiian, Sara Kunz , receives a five dollar tip from a baby boy and his father during the inaugural Buskerville Festival on the streets of historic Walkerville, Ontario, on August 11, 2018. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Young lady holds up a sign cheering on Orbax of The Monsters of Schlock during the their performance

Young lady from the audience holds up a sign cheering on Orbax of The Monsters of Schlock during the their performance at Buskerville Fest on Argyle Road in Walkerville, Ontario, on August 11, 2018. Photo by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.

Robert Tuomi
Article by Robert Tuomi

For over a decade, Robert has covered local news and community events. Initially as a contributor to CBC Radio’s local morning show and then as the long-time producer and host of CJAM’s The Rest of the News and as a journalist at the Windsor Square. A graduate of the Nikon School of Photography he enjoys illustrating his reports with what he sees through his camera’s lens.

 

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