Despite the rain and cold over the weekend, the parking lot at the North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall was alive with people of all ages, lights, colors, music and the smell of freshly popped popcorn, all contained in the red-and-white big-top tent set up in the mall’s parking lot.
Last weekend marked the opening weekend of the Venardos Circus, which will be in Dawson County for a total of 14 shows over the course of about two weeks.
The circus officially opened on Friday March 17 with a ribbon cutting by Stasia Kelly, the eldest daughter of the work-famous sad-faced clown Emmett Kelly Sr. The traveling circus troupe then performed shows for a packed tent on Friday evening and throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday.
The cast of the Venardos Circus hails from all over the world and is like one big, multi-talented family, according to ringmaster Kevin Venardos. The hour-and-a-half show includes breath-taking acrobatics and contortion, daring acts of balancing and escaping, hilarious comedy acts and musical acts performed by Venardos himself.
According to Venardos, starting a show like the Venardos Circus has been a long-time dream of his, and since its inception in 2014 it has grown from a county fair attraction into a traveling circus that visits counties across the United States. The theme of this year’s tour is “Let’s Build a Dream”, celebrating Venardos and his cast’s dreams coming true as well as those of anyone who dares to dream big.
“Get out there and live your circus dream,” Venardos encouraged his audience members at the end of each show amidst their applause.
The Venardos Circus will remain in town through Sunday March 26, with eight more shows currently on the schedule. The remaining scheduled shows include:
March 22, 23 and 24 at 7 p.m.
March 25 at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
March 26 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
General admission tickets start at $16.95 for children 12 and under and at $27.95 for adults. For more information or to purchase tickets online, go to www.liveyourcircusdream.com.