A Circus Town Like No Other

By WISE Web Admin

June 18, 2010 Updated Jul 14, 2009 at 4:47 PM EDT

PERU INDIANA IS A CIRCUS TOWN LIKE NO OTHER OUT IN YOUR COUNTRY. ONCE UPON A TIME SEVEN MAJOR CIRCUSES OVERWINTERED HERE, IN THIS SPRAWLING COMPOUND JUST OUTSIDE TOWN. WORKERS WOULD WAIT OUT WINTER CARING FOR THE ANIMALS, REPAIRING WAGONS AND EQUIPMENT, FIXING COSTUMES AND GETTING READY FOR THE UPCOMING CIRCUS SEASON. IT'S A HERITAGE THAT STILL RUNS VERY DEEP, IN THIS CORNER OF MIAMI COUNTY.

Bill: If she pushes off the pole's gonna slide. Legs together, legs together, good!

PERU'S CIRCUS HERITAGE IS ALIVE AND WELL AT THE CIRCUS CITY FESTIVAL BILLED AS THE GREATEST AMATURE SHOW ON EARTH..AND THAT'S NO HOLLOW BOAST. FOR FIFTY YEARS THIS TOWN HAS COME TOGETHER TO STAGE ONE OF THE MOST BREATHTAKING EVENTS ANYWHERE…AN ENTIRE CIRCUS PERFORMANCE WITH ALL THE ACTS A CIRCUS CAN OFFER…STAGED AND PERFORMED BY LOCAL RESIDENTS, MOSTLY KIDS.

Kathi: We have everyday kids, normal little kids, big kids, come in here and do things that actually will awe people. One thing you need to do is…

TRAINER KATHI GREEN PERFORMED WITH THE PERU CIRCUS 40 YEARS AGO AS A KID. TODAY SHE'S FINE-TUNING AN ACT CALLED THE BALANCING PERCH…STARRING GRADE SCHOOLERS AMBER RUSH AND ADDY VINCENT.

Yea I was scared at first. But how did you get over that? Doing it? Knowing I have safety.

IN ITS FIFTY-YEAR HISTORY TEN THOUSAND LOCAL KIDS HAVE WORKED IN THE PERU CIRCUS INCLUDING A CHERUBIC FUTURE NEWS ANCHOR NAMED LINDA JACKSON. IT'S HOW THIS COMMUNITY HONORS ITS PAST, USING ITS HISTORY TO GUIDE ITS FUTURE. AND AS THESE DAREDEVIL AMATURES PERFORM ALL THIS WEEK DURING THE CIRCUS CITY FESTIVAL'S FIFTIEH ANNIVERSARY, IT'S NICE TO KNOW THEY'RE BEING WATCHED OVER BY SOME STELLER GUARDIANS. THIS IS ERIC OLSON REPORTING.




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