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Troy Record: Circus Smirkus marks 30th anniversary

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the Troy Record newspaper and website on July 5, 2017 and was written by Weekender Staff. 

Photo by Robert Sanson

Circus Smirkus performs this year’s show Midnight at the Museum on the group’s 30th Anniversary Big Top Tour. Photo by Robert Sanson

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. >> Circus Smirkus, an award-winning international traveling youth circus, is returning to the Spa City on its 30th Anniversary Big Top Tour. Click to watch the broadcast below.

Circus Smirkus performs this year’s show Midnight at the Museum, which will come to Saratoga Springs next week on the group’s 30th Anniversary Big Top Tour. Photo by Robert Sanson

Families can gather under the Big Top Tent this July 11 and 12 at the outdoor field at the Saratoga Casino Hotel for four “adventuresome” performances by Circus Smirkus, presented by the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs. Performances will take place at 1 p.m. on 6 p.m. on these dates.

This year’s fun-filled themed show, Midnight at the Museum, is a wild adventure through the halls of a magical museum that springs to life when the clock strikes midnight.

The show will feature young aerialists and wirewalkers, clowns and jugglers, live music, brilliant costumes, and the many skills of young circus artists on full display under the Big Top.

As an additional feature this year, following the theme of the show, patrons will enjoy learning more about Saratoga area museums from noon to 1 p.m. before the matinee performances on July 11th and 12th.

The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, Children’s Museum at Saratoga and Saratoga Automobile Museum will be on site to share information about their venues and upcoming events.

The 2017 Circus Smirkus Anniversary Big Top Tour will include 67 performances this summer between late June and mid-August.

The show consists of 30 budding circus stars, ages 12 to 18, who represent two countries, Zambia and Canada, and thirteen states.

Circus Smirkus is a non-profit youth circus founded with the mission of promoting the skills, culture and traditions of the traveling circus and inspiring youth to engage in life-changing adventures in the circus arts.

The Vermont-based organization has raised more than $2.5 million over the past 30 years for non-profit partners. Its unique 24-meter, 750-seat, one ring tent distinguishes Circus Smirkus as the only American youth circus to put on a full-season tour under its own European style “big top tent.” The ring engages the entire audience intimately – no one sits more than 25 feet from the ring – giving an up-close view of the young ensemble’s extraordinary aerial artists, contortionists, acrobats, jugglers and whimsical clowns at work.

After 30 years, Circus Smirkus is certainly a “grown up”, but audiences know its youthful ensemble exhibit a timeless authenticity that is central to the nature of transformative art.

In its past three decades, Circus Smirkus has received accolades from critics all over the world.

“Circus Smirkus is thrilled to bring its award winning touring youth circus back to Saratoga Springs this summer!” said Judy Gaeth, director of circus operations, in a press release. “Our presenter, the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs, is a great partner filling the tent with Saratogians young and old for the past 11 years.”

The Saratoga Springs Waldorf School is also the home of two former “Smirkos,” Keenan and Taylor Wright Sanson.

“When we first brought Circus Smirkus to Saratoga, our hope was not only to create a fundraising event for our school but we also wanted to offer the greater Saratoga community an amazing and unique show for families to enjoy. Circus arts are a part of our curriculum and we are always looking for ways to teach our students using movement,” said Anne Maguire, administrator for the Waldorf School, in the release. “Year after year, we see children become inspired by what they see at Circus Smirkus, not only our students but those who come to watch. Circus Smirkus is a great way to showcase that with dedication and hard work, you can accomplish anything!”

Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for children ages two to 12. Children younger than two are

free on an adult’s lap. All proceeds raised will go directly to the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs.

Tickets are available locally at the Children’s Museum at Saratoga and G. Willikers, by calling 1-877-SMIRKUS toll-free or visiting If not sold out, tickets will be available at the door starting one hour before show time.

Circus Smirkus also has a donation-driven Magic Matinee Program, is a ticket donation program hosted by the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs that makes it possible for underserved local children and their families to attend Circus Smirkus free of charge.

Buy Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour Ticket Here
OR CALL 1-877-SMIRKUS (877-764-7587)