The Festival of Fools is offering an array of events catered to the young and young-at-heart.

35 street performers and 100 free shows, ranging from sketch comedy to acrobatics, tickle the funny bones of people of all ages.

Sam Malcolm is an award-winning circus-trained performer and comedian. This is his first time performing in Burlington, but he says he can see how committed the festival organizers are to street performers and a variety of different art forms.

“I am really, really in love with how supportive the communities are of the shows, how warm everyone’s been, how much they want to hear what we say, see what we do and support us and understand this is a legitimate form of theater that we are bringing to communities that they can take part in and that they can also support directly,” says Malcolm.

Preparations for the quirky weekend event start as early as January.

John Flannigan of Burlington City Arts says the event is like a reunion for the performers who come back every year.

“A lot of them know each other from different festivals and events from other locations so it is great for them all to come and meet in Burlington and hang out and enjoy the city,” says Flannigan.

Flannigan adds, it is always exciting to mingle in new performers as it is a sign that the niche community is growing.

Mia Castro-Santas, an audience member and fellow performer says, “I love street performance, I love supporting buskers, and just watching all the variety of acts and things like that. I think because I have a personal connection as well, it was just the perfect event to come out for.”

Castro-Santas adds, when people stumble across your performance, rather than seek you out, it creates an atmosphere of fun and excitement that you cannot get anywhere else.

Malcolm believes shows like these foster a sense of community. He hopes there is some level of interest for the next generation.

“We want to share what it feels like to be a kid and the joy that we have, we want to share that with other people. If you have a fun idea and it seems like something that makes other people feel good, share that with the world, says Malcolm.

An event called, “The Last Laugh” will close the Festival Sunday-evening by showcasing all 35 performers together.