A few new twists were added to this year's carnival August 22nd to 25th including a Busker Fringe Festival on the 22nd at 3:30pm. Local amateur performers were invited to compete for prizes and an opportunity to perform at a coveted spot on the street during the carnival. For the first time, a schedule of busker performances at the Parkade Pitch was published in the program noting of course that it was subject to change. There were bleachers at the Main Stage and Sue Todd souvenirs (once again her incredible illustration was featured on the program cover).
As always, there was a community BBQ (this time hosted by UpTown Waterloo and Pillers) at the Opening Ceremonies on Thursday evening, a Childrens area over the course of the carnival, the Late Night Adult Show at the Parkade Pitch (starting a half hour earlier this year at 11pm), and the 4pm Family Vaudeville Show ending off the carnival on Sunday.
Lynne Sosnowski, the 1996 Chairperson, noted "Our mission statement reads: To create a showcase on the street of high quality and un-ordinary performers and events for anyone and everyone." Judge for yourself with the 1996 lineup of buskers:
Flying Bob, Saskatoon - tight rope walking, juggling, unicycling, comedy, music
Jim from The Jim Show, Boston - juggling, comedy
Twirlee De-Lite, California - basketball tricks
Zandra Bell, Edmonton - comedy, music
Magic in Motion, Walkerton ON - magic, escape, juggling, mime
Peter Gross, Boston - magic, improv
The Pedestrian Project, New York City- mime, pedestrian sign characters completely in black costumes
Jenny Armstrong, Chicago - bagpipe, singing, storytelling, fiddling
Dufflebag Theatre, London ON - classic fairy tales in action, audience participation
Tawny Ross, Alymer,Quebec - magic, juggling, audience participation, fire act
Spring Action Circus, Ottawa - trampoline, acrobatics, comedy, audience participation
Sean Rooney, Mississauga - balloon artistry
Mardene Rubio, Baltimore - comedy, juggling, unicycling, fire eating
Special Blend, Montreal - dance duo, acrobatics, mime, martial arts
Just Us, Halifax - juggling, magic, dance, comedy
Special note: More and more performers are adding audience participation to their acts.