Circus Smirkus to roll into Cheshire Fairgrounds this year
Submitted Photo Ella Warner.
By DOMENIC POLI / Reformer Staff
SWANZEY, N.H. -- Tumbling, aerial dancing and wire-walking are difficult enough. Now imagine trying to balance those activities with summer reading assignments.
That's the name of the game for many members of Circus Smirkus, an award-winning circus for performers ages 10 to 18. Based in Vermont, it embarks on a two-month tour of New England and New York every summer with a collection of talented young circus artists who must audition to earn their spots. The circus typically performs a handful of shows in Brattleboro each year, but will instead pitch its one-ring, big-top tent at the Cheshire Fairgrounds in Swanzey for the first time this year. Performances will be held at 1 and 6 p.m. on July 15 and 16.
Circus Smirkus had for several years performed at Famolare Field, but the owner's family has decided to put the land up for sale following the death of Joe Famolare last year. Troy Wunderle, the artistic director of Circus Smirkus, said he and his wife Sara, the assistant circus operations director, always look forward to the show rolling into Brattleboro because they were raised in southern Vermont, but Cheshire Fairgrounds should be a perfect fit for the special event.
"We knew the site would have it all, plus great visibility," he told the Reformer. "There is a huge amount of excitement. Not only do we know our fans that have visited, but one of the spectacular things about Smirkus is the total joy of seeing new audience members come to the show and have their expectations completely blown out of the water. Once you see this once, you come back expecting greatness."