By Jim Harrington
As you stop to grab a chai, gelato or microbrew on the Pearl Street mall you are bound to pass by Zip Code Man on the corner, Silent Disco Dancing hula hoopers on the courthouse lawn, an aging classical harpist near the end of the block, that folksy guitarist near the fountain, and acrobats with flaming torches and tall unicycles near the kiosks all gathering crowds both small and large for busker entertainment Boulder style!
Boulder buskers are street performers inviting you to slow down your stroll on the red brick Pearl street mall and enjoy the show! From rock and roll, to celestial harp, to string quartets, to comedic acrobats, to poets, to incredibly limber yogis, to fire jugglers and mailroom zip code nerds Boulder’s buskers have some amazing talent. Don’t be so quick to pass them by. Slow on down and let Boulder buskers help you leave with a smile.
You can tell Zip Code man, David Rosdeitcher, your zip code, or internationally your postal code , and he can from memory tell you what town you’re from and a great place to go out to eat there. He estimates that he knows between 35,000 and 40,000 zip codes and countless restaurants. The “Guinness Book of World Records” has recognized David for the most ZIP codes consecutively identified at random.
David has worked long and hard to become one of America’s most beloved buskers. David started a juggling act in the French Quarter and for six years, went all over the country, juggling on a unicycle at festivals. Why did he learn all these Zip Codes? When David moved to Boulder it appeared to be the jugglers’ capital of the world. Four other juggling acts were better and funnier than his and the jugglers weren’t even the most popular acts on the mall. That is the Boulder Busker scene! David decided his juggling career needed a new act to help set him apart from other entertainers and so was born Zip Code man. Zip code man is a busker and a juggler who knows where you live. Be sure to tip appropriately.
Silent Disco Dancing is less of a performance and more of an invitation to dance and hula hoop at a free outdoor party set up in the center of the Pearl Street mall by master hula hooper Jody Evans. She makes her own hula hoops and spins Silent Disco as the most awesome dancing experience ever. She provides the wireless headphones and three channels of music so you can be guaranteed the ultimate get-down extravaganza. The thing is, only those wearing the headphones are hearing the music. Even if you don’t like to dance, Silent Disco will bring a smile to your face! Imagine everyone grooving to the same thing – out on the street, or anywhere – laughing, dancing and singing, yet the outsider only sees a group of writhing dancing bodies. Feel free to join in the fun!
Thaddeus Venar, aka Gaffer “that harp guy” has long gray hair and a beard and generally plays at the end of the block. He worked in corporate America for a while but quit for ethical reasons. Thaddeus Venar spent 17 years in corporate America doing exemplary work he says but it gave him minimal satisfaction. Now he plays the harp and his playing stops small children and adults alike in their tracks and he finds joy in changing people’s day. Gaffer has been “owned” by his harp — which he call “his best friend, longest roommate and harshest critic,” for over 18 years. He can play more than 500 songs, but sticks to the most popular 20 from the last 100 years. Enjoy some of the newest hits he plays!
Other show you might see on the mall include contortionist yogi’s, musicians of all stripes, cowboy living statue, rag dog humans and much more. Slow down your stroll and enjoy busker magic on the Pearl Street mall!