Eye Candy (and Actual Candy) at the Grand Ave Festival

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Hey, remember Grand Avenue? You know, that crazy diagonal street where The Paper Heart and The Red Door used to be? Apparently, some First Friday-goers are so dazzled by the flashy spectacle that is Roosevelt Row that they've forgotten poor little Grand, which is currently seeing a Renaissance of cool shops and galleries.

Grand Avenue's merchants, from the Trunk Space to Paisley Violin to Devious Wigs & Things, were tired of being neglected... so this past Saturday they brought out their big guns for the Grand Avenue Festival of fashion, food, art and general merriment. All manner of freaks and geeks (and yes, even a few normal people and families) turned out for the event, giving Grand a much-needed boost.

Girls in balloons and a preview of the new Sweets n' Beats candy/vinyl shop after the jump...

Austin is famous for its "Keep Austin Weird" campaign (Portland, OR has one too). Phoenix hasn't exactly nailed down its identity yet, so why not start a "Make Phoenix Weird" campaign? Clearly, at least a few Phoenicians might be on board for that, like this crazy guy who wouldn't stop dancing long enough for us to snap a decent pic:

We also spotted a chemically challenged (or chemically enhanced? You decide.) hippie spouting poetry from a rooftop, someone in a leather fairy mask and a guy in a bicycle helmet with a dead plant on top...

We much preferred the sight of the "live mannequins" from Devious Wigs & Things, who strutted in recycled fashions and balloon art dresses from BalloonsbyMarie.com down the catwalk of Grand Ave., stopping to pose on concrete pedestals. After hearing at least five passersby wondering if the models had anything else on underneath, we were tempted to grab a pin and find out.

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Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.