VERO BEACH – More than 250 children will take to the air over the next four days, weaving their bodies through panels of cloth and lengths of rope suspended from the ceiling.
They will be part of the 36th Annual Vero Beach Aerial Antics Circus – “A Very Vegas Circus” – starting Wednesday, Aug. 4, and beginning at 7 p.m. each night through Saturday. There will be one notable change to this year’s even for last – the location. The City of Vero Beach Parks and Recreation Department will be holding the circus at Oslo Middle School instead of in the gym at St. Edward’s Upper School.
“We’re kind of liking that this year,” Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Patty Howard said, noting that the new venue allows the audience to sit on both sides of the “stage.”
Whether the change of venue will become permanent is not yet known.
Howard said the consolidation of St. Ed’s lower and upper campuses forced them to look elsewhere for a site to hold the annual circus. A parent of one of the child performers works at Oslo Middle School and suggested the school for the new venue.
“They’ve been great,” Howard said of the School District and the parents at Oslo Middle.
This year’s “Very Vegas” circus will feature musical selections ranging from classics Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra to more contemporary artists, such as the late-Michael Jackson and others who are currently performing in Las Vegas.
“We’ve used a lot of Elvis music,” Howard added. “We’ve mixed it up a lot.”
Despite the Aerial Antics Circus’s Vegas theme, Howard said the show is definitely family – and kid – friendly.
“There are no showgirls,” she said.
This could be the last year the Aerial Antics Circus runs for four days, after the Vero Beach City Council cut the Parks and Recreation Department’s budget for next year.
If the department does not receive enough donations or corporate sponsorships, the show could be limited to two nights.
“We don’t want to leave anybody out,” Howard said of allowing all the children who worked for eight weeks in camp to shine during the performance.
If cut in half, the shows would have to feature much shorter group performances, giving parents less time to watch their child in the air.
“We just want to keep that going,” Howard said of the performances and the related camps.
Each year, it costs the city about $8,000 to hold the 4-night show, including staff, costumes, programs, equipment and everything else associated with it.
“If we can get that covered that would be great,” Howard said.
Admission to the circus is a requested donation, though no one is turned away if they don’t pay. This year’s admission suggestion is $5 for adults and $4 for children and seniors.
The admission donations help to offset the costs associated with the show, but do not cover it all.
This year’s show is sponsored in part by Wal-mart and David Francis Furniture.
Along with looking for donations and sponsorships, Howard is also searching for any alumni who have graduated through the city’s Aerial Antics-related summer camps.
All alumni of the Aerial Antics Circus are encouraged to call Howard to let her know they will be attending Saturday for special recognition.
Circus attendees are encouraged to “purchase” tickets in advance at Leisure Square, the Vero Beach Community Center or Riverside Racquet Complex – or at the door.
Want to go?
What: 36th Annual Aerial Antics “Very Vegas” Circus
Time: 7 p.m.
Dates: Aug. 4-7
Cost: Suggested donations – $5 adults, $4 kids, seniors
Location: Oslo Middle School, 480 20th Ave., Vero Beach
Phone: Patty Howard, (772) 567-2144.