When I first arrived as a freshman at Butler University, I was excited to meet students from all over the country. But I soon learned, after meeting fellow Hoosiers from around the state, that diversity in experience isn’t confined to geographical differences.
Case in point: I distinctly remember having a conversation one day with a friend who was from a small town in northern Indiana, just off U.S. 31. We were discussing where our friends from high school had ended up, and she casually mentioned a few friends who joined the circus. Say what?! Turns out, Peru, Indiana was just a few miles away from her hometown. And Peru is the Circus Capital of the World. This interesting fact is celebrated in grand circus style July 16-23, 2011 for the Circus City Festival.
Miami County, where Peru is located, has a long circus history, dating back to the 1800s when circuses camped out in the area during the winter months. In the 1960s, the Circus City Festival Inc. was formed to revive the area’s circus heritage. Now, in addition to the yearly festival, the groups supports the Peru Amateur Youth Circus, scholarships, and the International Circus Hall of Fame.
Even if you don’t have grand aspirations of one day enjoying life as a professional under the big top, everyone loves a good circus. So plan a trip to Peru later this month for the festival. Throughout the week, 10 performances are scheduled, where you’ll see tumblers, acrobats, trapeze artists, hire wire acts, and so much more. Performers consist of the 250 amateurs in the Peru Amateur Youth Circus, ages 7-21. But you’ll never guess they’re amateaurs. Tickets are available here and prices range from $9 to $13. More information about the event is available on the Peru Circus City Festival website.
Photo courtesy of Circus City Festival Inc.