Sorry that I didn't have time to post an explaination when I first put this up; I'd spent most of the day at the Missouri Botanical Garden's annual Japanese Fesival, had popped back home with just enough time to dump my memory card (and briefly open anniversary presents with my husband on our first anniversay), then went back out to the Big Muddy Blues Festival on Laclede's Landing.
The man in these pictures was doing a very quaint bit of performance art. He clearly spoke little to no English, but encouraged audience participation with body language and gestures. Among other things, he made little paper cutouts, produced a katana blade with a flourish that then turned out to be a bubble-blower, created detailed little creatures out of wax (in the first picure, blindfolded), and balancing a little ball on an umbrella (2nd picture). He moved around the circle of onlookers in very, very rapid loops, and so it was quite difficult to catch him in a good shot.