Arts Devo

Carnies, hackers and god

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Secrets of the midway Arts DEVO means this in the best way possible: The fair is really freakin’ weird. Even on the surface, just seeing it out your window as you drive by for the first time after the rides have been put up is pleasantly jarring. A colorful fantasy world has appeared overnight, towering over everything in sight with giant machines that blink and clang like a cartoonish and most impractical factory.

And inside is a chaotic little temporary city filled with a melange of the strange and the rad—carnies, piglets, X-treme Motocross, funnel cakes, cowboys, Eddie Money, demolition derby, deep-fried Cap’n Crunch-coated shrimp on stick.

But go deeper, into the schedule of “variety” entertainment, and things get super random and maybe a little creepy: from the Wild West Turkey Stampede (next to the Flower Building daily, at 7:30 p.m.) to Skip Banks the Balloon Man (on the Community Stage, Thursday-Friday, 6 p.m.; Saturday-Monday, 4:30 p.m.), who will “inflate a balloon before your very eyes … and watch him wiggle his way into it, seal himself off inside the balloon, only to have just his head come flying out of the balloon while his body remains inside to the music of MC Hammer ‘Can’t Touch This.’ A must-see-to-believe performance!”

Engage networking mode This Sunday, May 27, the hackers behind Chico’s DC530 group are hosting their third annual Norcon hacker event, this year at the El Rey Theatre. The security conference goes all day, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and will feature a panel of experts giving lectures and interactive trainings for attendees of all skill levels (noobs welcome!)—covering everything from bitcoins to virtual reality. The conference is followed by an EDM afterparty at 9 p.m., featuring performances by Dual Core, TripAssist, Confido and Dub Heez. Tickets are $20 for conference/afterparty; $10/just afterparty. Visit for more info and schedule.

It’s a sign from Joe To make way for a new 18,700-square-foot community center, the Salvation Army is tearing down the old buildings at 16th and Laurel streets, including the church. Local theater stud Joe Hilsee happened upon the destruction while walking to work last week and captured this striking black-and-white. Bravo!