About The Big Top Tour

The 2020 Big Top Tour

The Circus Smirkus staff and board have been working creatively to connect with audiences during this unprecedented time, and diligently planning for a variety of possible scenarios for the summer. We entered this crisis from a position of administrative and financial stability, and are determined to emerge from this crisis strong, with our team intact.
The board and staff have reached the difficult decision that we cannot tour New England as we normally would, and we need to reimagine the Big Top Tour for 2020. We reached this disappointing decision after a long process of gathering feedback, and monitoring the situation in states where we usually tour.

But here at Circus Smirkus, we are determined to find new and creative ways to bring the joy and magic of the Big Top Tour to our audiences virtually. Join us this summer for the Smirk-o-Vision online entertainment series where we will bring the wonder and excitement of circus to your living room!

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 70 shows in just seven weeks!

Big Top Tour History

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


In most 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 $2 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 2019 Big Top Tour.

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 tour@smirkus.org.

Circus Smirkus is dedicated to helping community organizations that focus on children, education, circus arts and health and wellness. Our circus is able to donate a limited number of Big Top Tour tickets each year to raise funds for our fellow non-profit, tax-exempt organizations.

Please understand that we receive a clown trunk-full of requests! While we can’t accommodate every worthy cause, each request is given serious consideration.

And hey, folks – we’re a 501c3 nonprofit, too. Like you, we rely on the generosity of others as a key way to make ends meet. That said, by necessity, preference is given to organizations that can provide a helping hand to Smirkus in return. Whether it’s cross promotion, social media/newsletter representation, or reciprocal donation – your help can go a long way.

Please do not call or email to request a donation. All requests MUST be submitted using our official Ticket Request Form, which is available from mid-February through April 30. Before submitting a request through our form, please review the following criteria:

Ticket Donation Guidelines

Ticket Donation Guidelines

Please verify that your request falls within the guidelines listed below:

  • You qualify as an employee or official representative of the registered 501c3 nonprofit organization which our donated tickets would serve to benefit.
  • Your organization actively conducts business in CT, ME, MA, NH, NY, and/or VT -or- is a registered nonprofit circus arts organization.
  • Your organization maintains community relations efforts benefitting children, education, health, wellness, circus arts -or- similarly related mission based efforts.
  • One (1) donation per organization per year. (Preference is given to organizations filing their first request.)
  • Must be a New England or New York based organization AND/OR a circus arts organization.
  • We do not consider requests for political, controversial or for-profit organizations; sports teams; individuals or third parties.
  • Cannot be used for prizes, volunteer gifts, or incentive programs.
  • The purpose of the organization or fundraising event must not be contrary to the mission of Circus Smirkus.
  • Preference is given to organizations that provide cross promotion opportunities or reciprocal donation. (ex: promote the show in their newsletter or on Facebook.)

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. For more information about accessibility under the Big Top, please email info@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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