Circus Smirkus to liven up Fountain Park
Date: 7/26/2010July 26, 2010
By Chris Maza
Reminder Assistant Editor
WILBRAHAM -- The circus is coming to Fountain Park.
On July 30 and 31, the Wilbraham Hampden Academic Trust Inc. (W.H.A.T.) will present Circus Smirkus, a critically acclaimed youth act.
"It's very much a European-type circus act, more akin to Cirque de Soleil," W.H.A.T. President Kevin Giordano said. "It's a full performance from the start to the very end. The performance centers around clowning, acrobatics and high-wire acts, all based around a central theme and performed with live music."
This year's theme is "Wild Wilderness: Outdoor Adventures Under the Big Top."
What wows crowds even more than the performance itself is the age of those executing it, according to Giordano.
"All of the performers are aged 10 to 17. Almost every aspect of the circus is performed by kids" Giordano explained. "They are remarkable performers. A lot of them will go on to the Big Apple Circus or the Chicago Circus when they get older."
This is the fourth year Circus Smirkus has made an appearance in Wilbraham, an idea first concocted by Giordano.
"I'm originally from Vermont, so I'm familiar with the circus and I have taken my kids to see it in the past," Giordano said. "I had looked for an opportunity to bring them to Western Massachusetts and had to wait a few years because they were very booked up, but eventually we were able to get them here."
Circus Smirkus will host four performances over the two days July 30 at 1 and 7 p.m.; July 31 at 2 and 7 p.m. with all of the proceeds going to W.H.A.T.
W.H.A.T is a charitable corporation that raises money through private donations and fundraisers and puts the money back into Wilbraham and Hampden schools in the form of grants.
"It's an integral part of education. You're starting to see communities all over starting these kinds of funds," Giordano said of W.H.A.T. "Teachers have a hard enough time finding money to fulfill their curriculum responsibilities. What we do is try to offer educational enrichment opportunities with money outside the budget."
Tickets are $18 for anyone 13 years old and up and $14 for children 12 and under. Children under two are free.