Laniyah Fisher, 9, steered a red ball past a shipwreck, a tidal wave and the gaping mouth of a killer whale in a game called Danger Beach — a sort of wooden version of pinball.
"It's free — that's the best part," said Laniyah's grandmother, Denise Mason. "Grandma doesn't have to do anything but buy something to eat."
Pennington said it was thrilling to see scores of people playing games he had invented and built with friends at his studio near Greenmount and North avenues.
SuperGame! was one of several hands-on works with the loose theme of "Field Day" that lined Charles Street near Penn Station. Groups of children took turns jumping across a hopscotch court that artist Graham Coreil-Allen created in an intersection.
Farther up the street, the parking lots typically frequented by patrons of the Charles Theatre had been transformed. Rows of pots with feathery purple flowers made the flat lot feel like a meadow. The garage hosted a mixture of visual and conceptual artists as the Baltimore Alternative Art Fair.
Artist Dustin Carlson rested near his Bicycle Gallery, a pair of bikes that haul artworks on white wooden platforms. One, titled "Cycle of Life" featured a live goldfish swimming in a glass bowl.
Carlson said he and a friend took turns pedaling the works through the festival. The bikes bring art to people who would never step into a gallery, Carlson explained, his words nearly drowned out by the man in a unicorn head playing the trumpet.
Outside, Guy Hollyday sat scribbling in a notebook. The 85-year-old's eyes darted back and forth behind wraparound sunglasses.
He was observing the crowd — girls holding hands, mothers carrying babies, kids whizzing by on bicycles — and preserving it all in a poem.