Arts & Culture Family Featured Music & Events Fara Illich November 9, 2010

Get ready to be astounded, amazed and wildly amused. Fire breathers, sword swallowers and acrobats are just the beginning.
As always, the main attraction at the Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts is you. Your creativity. Your individuality. Your free-form, I-gotta-be-me participation in Downtown’s high-energy celebration of our community. (Check out photos from past PAPAs on our Flickr stream.)
PubCrawl_PAPA 183The Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts, known as PAPA, is a chance to express yourself through costumes, art and performance while marching with your fellow Phoenicians through the streets of Downtown Phoenix. You can walk, ride, dance or crawl along in the parade. It’s a free-floating exercise in your democratic right to be as wild and crazy as you want.
Now in its fifth year, the world’s only parading arts fair is called “Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow,” as Downtown celebrates 20 years of progress. It all happens November 13th from 5 to 10 p.m. on 5th Street between Roosevelt and Garfield.
So let’s get right to it. Here are the four diverse acts that will perform either live on the main stage or act as parade leaders:
Flam Chen – If you do nothing else, go to Flam Chen’s web site and look at the videos and photos of their performances. It’s not an overstatement to say this acrobatic and theatrical troupe, which combines fire theater with otherworldly costumes and aerial technology, is astonishing to watch. Based in Tucson, this troupe has produced performances for director Tim Burton and Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee. Flam Chen will serve as co-parade leaders with the Bad Cactus Brass Band. Speaking of which…
Bad Cactus Brass Band – These are seriously talented musicians, some of them ex-ASU alums. This New Orleans street jazz band plays everything from original dance music and Dixieland to gospel, swing and pop songs they’ve re-interpreted.
Strange Family Circus – Just like the name says, this act is unquestionably strange. Headed by the Dr. Rev. Stephen Strange, this funny, offbeat sideshow act offers the joys of watching others swallow swords and breathe fire. I say: Have at it, guys. A true Phoenix original, Strange and his family bring their quirky talents to the main stage.
Djentrification – Also a main stage act, this DJ officially started his career in 1998, but really began by messing around with tape recorders at the age of 11. He revels in sound experiments and brings creativity and energy to every performance.