About The Big Top Tour

The 2023 Big Top Tour

About the Big Top Tour


Every summer, a freshly auditioned company of Smirkus Troupers, ages 10 to 18, take to the road in traditional mud show fashion for a two-month performance tour of New England. Backed by professional coaches, cooks, musicians and crew, our Smirkos perform to sell-out crowds in Circus Smirkus’ very own 750-seat European-style one-ring big top tent.

Each year brings a new storyline and original full-length show combining the best in traditional and contemporary circus styles. We give our Troupers the full experience of touring in a classic traveling tent show. That means a complete immersion in circus life. Smirkos endure rigorous training, daily chores and the loading in and loading out of the Big Top. They revel in the joy of performance and the camaraderie of a common purpose — the passion of a shared dream and nearly 50 shows in just six weeks!

Big Top Tour History

Click on the arrows below to see all of the shows Smirkus has presented since 1987.


In many towns on our tour route, the Big Top Tour is presented by a local non-profit youth or community organization.
Ticket sales and sponsorships raised through these performances provide a major source of income for their programs. In fact, since our founding in 1987, we have raised well over $3 million for our presenters. Learn more here.


Joining the Smirkus Volunteer Team is a meaningful way to help share the magic of Circus Smirkus with your community. Volunteers are needed both for the shows we present ourselves, and for those which are presented by other organizations. Go here to learn how you can volunteer for the 2023 Big Top Tour.
We are also seeking homestay providers for our troupers. This is a family that can transport, feed and provide housing for a minimum of two troupers for the duration of their time in the town we are visiting. If you are interested in hosting a couple troupers at one of the sites we visit, please contact homestays@smirkus.org. Learn more by reading our Homestay Handbook.

Ticket Requests

Want to bring a large group to see a Big Top Tour show? Discounted rates may be available for  groups of 15 or more: please email boxoffice@smirkus.org.

Accessibility Services

To welcome our fans, guests, and spectators, the Big Top is ADA-compliant and our staff is ready to assist those with accessibility concerns to enjoy the show. If you have purchased tickets for the show, you can find out ADA Big Top Tour Special Seating Request Form here. For more information about accessibility under the Big Top, please email boxoffice@smirkus.org.

We all dream of running away to the circus. Whether you choose to join us as a performer, a spectator or a presenter, there’s room for you under the Circus Smirkus Big Top!

Photo: Harry Powers

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