Fire eater's van crashes into tree
A fire-eating busker will wow Christchurch crowds this month after walking away from a crash that wrecked his van.
Pascal Ackermann, a Lyttleton-based Swiss circus performer, wrote his van off last week after hitting a tree just north of Napier.
Ackermann, the current Guinness World Record holder for fire eating, said that were it not for the tree the situation could have been a lot worse.
''If I had not hit that tree, I would have gone farther down the bank and into the lake, I had all my gear in the back, the things I need to perform and I probably would have lost them.
''I was really lucky that tree was there and lucky to be OK.''
With the Scirt World Buskers Festival opening next week, Ackermann is especially grateful he was not hurt and that he did not lose his circus equipment.
Ackermann will perform alongside contortionist Skye Broberg in a new act called Box of Tricks.
''The show is made up of acrobatics, uni-cycling, partner lifts and more. It's all very physical and if I had been hurt or had lost any more of the equipment we use, it would have spelt the end of it.''
Ackermann said the Christchurch festival, now in its 21st year, is one of his favourite places to perform.
''It's a very inspiring festival; with acts coming in from everywhere you feel like you are being sucked into a whirlpool of creativity.''
The festival runs from January 16 to 26 and is one of the biggest street performance festivals in the world.
The festival includes 55 acts from 10 differentnte countries. The will perform at several venues across the city