Zoppe Family Circus sticks its Avon landing
September 10, 2018
Of the 500 seats filled with happy circus-goers on Saturday night, Sept. 8, in Nottingham Park in Avon, it was the children in the audience that lit up the Zoppe Family Circus tent.
Young faces of awe and their rolling laughter sparked a recollection of my very first circus experience as a child. It's still what it's always been — the colors, the music, the animals, the acrobats. It all makes it magical. And remarkable and memorable as this experience is for all the children watching, it's their energy and excitement that I think makes the circus just as special for grown ups.
The Zoppe Family Circus honors the best history of the Old-World Italian tradition. Visiting Avon for the second consecutive year, the circus featured acrobatic feats, equestrian showmanship, canine capers, clowning and plenty of audience participation.
"It's just a good night out," said Erin Beresniewicz, of Avon, who brought her 9-year-old son, Andrew. "It's entertaining and it's not very expensive. I think it's interesting for the kids, and it's nice to not have to go down to Denver to do something like this."
Mike Brundage said he wanted to bring his daughters, 14-year-old Bella and 10-year-old Avery, "to do something fun."
"We wanted to get the best seats because they are only here once a year," he said, "So why not do it up?"
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Both girls said they enjoyed the Italian "romance" — an acrobatic pole act showcasing a theatrical narrative of an Italian couple and the true strength of the performers.
"I like that part because I think it looks cool, and I also like how they slide down," Avery said. "It's just really fun."
As the legacy is told, the Zoppe Family Circus emerged from humble beginnings more than 160 years ago to become one of the most legendary circuses in all of Europe. And like many good legends, it began with a boy and a girl falling in love.
So as long as the story will be told, hopefully Zoppe will continue to make an annual stop in the Vail Valley.
"I love it," Brundage said with his girls by his side. "I hope they come back every year."