by VICTORIA HENLEY
Great Pages Circus is a multi-generational family circus, owned and operated by George and Frieda Pages, featuring their children, Vincenta and Jorge, as the polished no nonsense ringmaster and daring, fearless Globe Rider, respectively.
Determined to carry on the tradition of the iconic Great Pages Circus legacy, which was initially started by their grandfather, the Pages kids headline a 90-minute, high-octane, action-packed circus extravaganza, filled with internationally acclaimed circus acts, including the Spinning Spanish Web, the slack wire, juggling, majestic camels, chair balancing and fire spinning.
Accompanied by my family including Lynn (the photographer for Backstage Pass on IHeart /FCB Radio ) and my grandparents Ramona and Gene Boatright, I was privileged to attend the Great Pages Circus’s 7:30 pm evening performance at the Tifton, Ga. Fairgrounds during the kickoff of the Sarasota, Fla. based company’s 2022 traveling tour.
The nearly sold-out crowd was teeming with palpable energy and excitement, and the droves of extremely enthusiastic children were overjoyed by each act that took the stage, one after another.
A quintessential outing for children, the circus has been a go-to family activity for many, many decades, and Great Pages Circus makes it easy and extremely affordable to take your entire family to the circus with free tickets for children ages 14 and under.
Engaging and highly interactive, Great Pages circus offers numerous opportunities for the kids to be a part of the circus with camel and pony rides during the intermission portion during the show. Specialty circus peanuts are available for sale while the variety acts rotate, and one incredibly lucky winner per show will win the once in a lifetime experience of a free ride on a camel’s back.
Should you fall in love with the Great Pages Circus just as so many fans from around the world have, you will have several chances to take the circus home with you as several light- up souvenirs and novelties are offered at select portions during the show as well as an exclusive, one of a kind, Great Pages coloring book, created by members of the visionary Pages Family, to color your own circus memories to cherish.
A few of the many stand out performances include a rousing, stomping Flamenco-style performance by the opening artist (after which the lights go out as the performer and his partner commence to wield fiery ropes, for a beautiful, artistic show illuminating the darkness), an agile and tremendously graceful performer on the Cyr Wheel (where he performs mind-blowing acrobatic feats while continuously spinning gyroscopically within the moving circle), a breathtaking feat of agility and strength displayed by the aforementioned Cyr Wheel performer high above the ground with no safety net, a knife throwing, whistle blowing clown who brings lots of shenanigans and hilarious hijinks throughout the show.
Then there’s the show’s grand finale, Earhart’s Globe of Death, featuring gravity and death defying adrenaline pumping motorcycle stunts while encompassed within a small globe shaped sphere. (The Globe of Death, a crowd favorite which draws seekers of edge-of- your-seat entertainment from across the nation, features a rider named Victoria, who also wows on the slack wire, and is one of the very few female globe riders in the world.)
Our party, ranging in ages from 20s to 80s, as well as the vast array of children, teens, and adults in attendance were all unified by the incomparable magic of the circus, which brings back a beautiful feeling of lighthearted nostalgia, undoubtedly just as guests felt at the original modern circuses that originated in the 1700’s.
Keeping the circus industry – especially family-owned and operated businesses- and the art of live entertainment going in a world where anxiety, panic and “bad news” often reign supreme is vital.
Victoria Henley writes Backstage Pass for iHeart Radio and CTFashionMag.com.