Five things to see at the Congress of Curious Peoples

The oddball enclave embraces its freaky side during this ten-day long festival. Here's what you shouldn't miss.

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  • Photograph: Norman Blake

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    Jennifer Miller

  • Photograph: Norman Blake

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    Rudi Macaggi

  • Photograph: Norman Blake

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    Koko the Killer Clown

  • Photograph: Norman Blake

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    Ward Hall

  • Photograph: Norman Blake

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    Ward Hall

Photograph: Norman Blake

congresscurious80701

Jennifer Miller

Super-Freak Weekend
Delight in the sideshow antics of Coney's self-described natural freaks, with performances from Koko the Killer Clown, a four-foot-tall balloon-twister with a grudge, and bearded lady Jennifer Miller. Sideshows by the Seashore, 1208 Surf Ave at 12th St, Coney Island, Brooklyn (coneyisland.com). Sat 9, Sun 10 1--7pm; $10.

Colonnade of Curiosities
Pick up an oddball item or two at this kitschy fair; check out Cheryl K. Shurtleff's cat-hair dolls and custom taxidermied mice by Huckster Fabrication. Coney Island Circus Sideshow Freak Bar, 1208 Surf Ave at 12th St, Coney Island, Brooklyn. Sat 9, Sun 10, Apr 16, Apr 17 noon--8pm; free.

Lectures at Coney Island USA
Learn about Coney's history during five nights of talks; topics include Freud's insights into the amusement park's perverse attractions and a discussion of carnival-roaming con men. Coney Island Museum. Mon 11--Apr 15 at 7:30pm; $5.

Alumni Weekend
Past sideshow performers, such as the multitalented MC/human blockhead the Great Fredini, return to Coney for an encore. Sideshows by the Seashore. Apr 16, 17 1--7pm; $10.

Congress for Curious Peoples
As part of the similarly named ten-day festival, this weekend-long scholarly symposium examines the history and cultural legacy of carnival performance. Coney Island Museum. Apr 16, 17 10am--5:30pm; two-day pass $25.

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