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Mannel Park plays host to circus

Mannel Park hosted the Ventura Circus last weekend, giving several performances of their new showcase.

This circus had a host of different acts that amazed and entertained the crowds on hand. It was standing-room-only on opening night, with this year's themed "The Dream" show.

Ventura Circus is a family-owned and-operated circus that relies on acrobatics, clowns, balancing acts, and high-flying tricks to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

"The Dream" follows a girl who is drifting off to sleep when she awakes to a pair of clowns vying for her attention, keeping her entertained. A team of acrobats performed a variety of tricks on a trampoline, with one of the team doing an astounding triple somersault. He then proceeded to do 23 continuous flips before landing on the ground, to the delight of the crowd.

There were plenty of refreshments available, from cotton candy, popcorn and drinks, to churros and candied apples.

In between the tricks and high-flying members of the team, the clowns kept the audience laughing and involved in the action. A balloon was batted around the big top, with the clowns encouraging the crowd to keep it up in the air, until a clown with a bad attitude popped it, causing the crowd to boo him off the stage. It was a real crowd-pleaser.

There also was a juggler that performed with a variety of objects, from rings, bowling pins, until he finally grabbed a handful of flaming batons, wowing the crowd as he kept the flaming objects in the air. There was also a time after the show in which the kids could come and meet the performers and also get their faces painted. It was a show that delighted the entire audience.

Headed up by Jovan Hernandez and crew, the circus travels throughout the Central Valley and beyond, entertaining crowds big and small.

After the shows in Shafter, the troupe was headed to a stint in Mendota, about 90 minutes north of Shafter. Hernandez said that they enjoy entertaining the different crowds and love meeting new people all of the time. "Every town is different, with some crowds that come see us every time we are close by, with other towns having a new experience, never watching us before."

Hernandez also said that they take pride in putting on a show that is great for the whole family, be them young children, or just those young at heart.

"We love being a part of the circus tradition and doing what we can in keeping this great and rich tradition alive."


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