Busk or Bust | Urban Living

Busk or Bust

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If you know me well, you'd have learned years ago that I hate Peeps marshmallow candy, and I really am not a fan of bagpipes. My bio-mom loved Peeps. When they began making more than just yellow-colored chickens, she wrote the company to complain, that "colored peeps were a sacrilege!" Peeps I can avoid, bagpipes I cannot. If death had a sound, surely it would be the screech of bagpipes.

Folks who play those bags of misery are sometimes known as "buskers," which are musicians who play for money on the street. And guess what? Salt Lake City is looking for more bagpipers, singers, hoopers, fire eaters and the like to amuse downtown patron this spring and summer. Kim Angeli, formerly the queen of the Downtown Farmers Market (now retired) is helping our fair city to liven up our streets.

"With the ever-evolving downtown Salt Lake City and the opening of Eccles Theater later this year, I am researching how sidewalk artists and performers fit into the mix," she says. "Gathering feedback and knowledge from downtown businesses, employees, residents and both practicing and potential performers, I will make recommendations to support a vibrant busking community." She adds, "Cities like Boston, Boulder, Ashville and New Orleans are known for street performances and sidewalk artists in pedestrian-dense areas. Could Salt Lake City, its artists and citizens benefit from similar programs? That's what I'm here to find out."

You can help her by filling out this survey at bit.ly/1Rr8MiJ. If buskers step forward, we'll get more than the lone, squealing bagpiper performing on Regent Street this fall when the Eccles Center opens.

The Downtown Garden Stroll begins April 1 and will run through May 8. No, I'm not talking the annual pilgrimage to Temple Square to see the phenomenal posies planted there. I'm talking about the temporary "parklets" set up on Main Street between South Temple and 300 South. Artists just competed to decorate these platforms. The pop-up parks will have art and flowers at each platform through Mother's Day. You can grab a nosh and cuppa and sit out in the sun on one of the entries like a flower yourself, ready to bloom and soak up the vitamin D. And if you have to, you can eat Peeps, but I won't be joining you.

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