SM PIER — The Centennial Celebration continues this Saturday with the largest gathering of circus artists, Vaudevillians, contortionists, aerialists, jugglers, acrobats and performance artists ever seen on the historic pier.

“Sideshow at the Pier” is an irreverent homage to the pier’s midway spirit, and is jam packed with high-energy hijinks, and extreme skills in a free show that runs from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“This is the kick off of our ‘Celebration of a Century’ and we’re traveling back in time, so to speak, with the largest gathering of circus performers, vaudevillians and variety acts in 100 years,” said Joel Brand, chair of the Pier Centennial Celebration Committee. “It’s free family fun that celebrates the uniqueness of California’s last pleasure pier right here in Santa Monica. This is part of a summer-long series of events which leads up to the grand finale fireworks show on the pier’s birthday, Sept. 9.”

Come see Mat Plendl, the world’s greatest hula-hoop artist, or watch Scot Nery do his acclaimed pancake-juggling act while popular busker Masonius Max executes body-bending contortions. Former two-time world champions in acrobatic gymnastics Realis perform intricate hand to hand balancing, and the Silk Sisters mesmerize with their aerial artistry.

The Quiddlers, who have brought their unique performances of “Micro Jackson” to nationwide audiences on “America’s Got Talent,” join comic juggler extraordinaire Frank Olivier and dozens of other uniquely skilled acts during Sideshow at the Pier. MC/Ringmaster Philip Solomon keeps the zaniness going with a little help from the Stilt Circus and the Funhouse Band.

The event will be held on the pier parking deck. For more information, visit www.santamonicapier.org. Program and artists are subject to change. The Santa Monica Pier Centennial is sponsored by: KOOZA/Cirque du Soleil, Preserve America, Time Warner Cable, Big Blue Bus, City Hall, the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Pacific Park.

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