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Detour: Boise's Talent Show

The Curb Competition in August, with some 120 acts, turns the downtown into a talent festival.

Boise Curb Cup
Photo caption
Fans and artists meet on the street during the Boise Curb Cup.

Think of a talent show on steroids. That’s the best way to describe the Boise Curb Cup competition, a festival that returns to the city’s downtown streets on August 29.

At the inaugural event in 2009, creator Mark Rivers expected 1,000 spectators. Instead, 30 times that many came to cheer and vote for some 120 acts ranging from bagpipers to belly dancers, a klezmer band to rope-jumping acrobats. The favorite, a kids’ karate team that synchronized jump kicks and punches to Michael Jackson songs, won $1,000 and had its name engraved on the Curb Cup, a three-foot trophy built from pipes and scrap metal.

This year’s edition of the festival promises to be even bigger, with up to 200 locally grown acts. Rivers says the event’s instant popularity shows that Boiseans are eager to express themselves “in a way that’s uniquely Boise.” (208) 368-0000,

Photography by Skyler Simmons

This article was first published in July 2010. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.