A year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the first cancellation in its history, the Peru Amateur Circus is scheduled to make a comeback this week.
“It’s going to be just like it was two years ago,” John Kirk, Circus City Festival’s vice president of publicity, told the Tribune on Friday.
Performers have been at the circus building on North Broadway practicing for their shows since spring, but that will soon come to an end as circus officials transition into Tuesday and Wednesday night “run-throughs.”
“And then Friday night is family night,” Kirk said, referring to the annual event that precedes the official opening of the circus week and serves as a sort of dress rehearsal for the entire show.
The official opening comes Saturday, July 17, with the 2 p.m. show followed by another at 7 p.m. There will also be a 3 p.m. show on Sunday and 7 p.m. shows every weekday. The second Saturday of the week, July 24, will again see a 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. show.
The street fair opens on Monday and will run through the day of the parade, which caps the week’s festivities and steps off at 10 a.m. on July 24.
Kirk said there will be discount programs during the week offering $2 off the price admission for the circus show. Monday is Miami County night, with discounts for county residents. On Tuesday the discount is offered to residents of surrounding counties. Wednesday is for teachers, and Thursday is for public servants.
Others can get in on the discounts this evening, if they’d like.
“We are going to do a teaser event at 5:30 on Second Saturday,” Kirk said.
That will take the form of a “road show” and other events at the circus building as others make their way downtown tonight for the monthly activities. The idea, Kirk said, is to drum up more interest for the circus, and officials will be offering $2 discounts to those who turn out at the box office tonight (July 10) to buy tickets in advance.
Officials cancelled the 2020 festival amid health and safety concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
That cancellation, Kirk explained earlier this year, put the entire festival in jeopardy by knocking out ticket sales, sponsorships and parade fees. Organizers went public with the difficulties earlier this year, launching a social media fundraiser that raised $50,000 in nine days. Support continued to come in through the spring in the form of grants and additional donations.