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Saturday, July 13, 2013

PERU YOUTH CIRCUS

Peru, Ind., is known as the "Circus City," and with good reason.
Peru honors its Big Tent roots with youth circus performances beginning Saturday

 
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Youth from Peru, Ind., and the surrounding area demonstrate their skills on the high-wire as they practice for the annual Peru Circus in July.(Photo: Rob Goebel, The Indianapolis Star)
From:  usatoday.com
by Will Higgins, The Indianapolis Star
July 12, 2013
PERU, Ind. — Megan Brehmer actually does this, has been doing it almost daily since March, and here in this town that calls itself "Circus City" it's considered normal behavior: She's 40 feet in the air, standing on the tiniest little platform. Then she jumps. "That's my favorite part," she says.
As she plummets, Jimmy Sunday, a teenager, catches her by her ankles, swings her pendulum-like, then releases her to another teen, Adam Kirk, who's hanging upside down on another swing. Adam grabs Megan by the wrists, swings her back and forth, then releases her so that she's careening freely through the air.
At this point, Megan harbors strong hope that another swing is in the proper position so that she can grab onto it. Almost always the swing is properly positioned, but when it's not, even working with a net, such a fall is painful, involving scrapes and burns. Megan's toes are still somewhat sliced up from the last miscue.
But it's not a big deal, certainly not a deal breaker, says Megan, who at 13 is Peru's youngest flying trapeze artist. Though not by much: Lexi Singletary is 14; Tiffany Rush is 17; Victoria Brooks is 18 but was just 11 when she first did the stunt.
The girls are part of a 200-member youth circus whose four months of practice culminates with full-on three-ring performances Saturday through July 20. The show - an annual rallying point for the residents - goes on despite a tornado that tore through Peru on Wednesday, ripping up trees, destroying a grocery store, tossing cars around and knocking out power to the town's west end. Clean up is underway.
Many Indiana towns have a distinguishing feature: Columbus has its architecture, Shipshewanna its Amish. But for cultural identity and tradition, Peru's long-standing embrace of the old-time Big Tent circus performance is unmatched. It goes back to the 1890s, when huge circuses lumbered across the country and needed a place to stay in the winter. The place needed to be centrally located with easy access to rail roads. A half dozen circuses chose Peru.
read more:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/12/small-indiana-town-embraces-its-circus-identity/2511657/
 

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