Who: Circus lovers, local celebs, and youngsters.
What: A gala to support Circus Juventas youth circus training programs
Where: Circus Juventas’s Big Top in St. Paul
When: November 5, 2010
Why: To sponsor scholarships and support the youth circus.
Last Friday, the Circus Juventas’ gala brought me right back to childhood. The exotic animals were missing, but the bright lights and circus tricks were right on par.
The gala itself was held in the Circus Juventas’s big top and the youth performers put on quite a show while guests noshed on concession stand-type eats.
BT from Cities 97 hosted the event and when I caught up with him he couldn’t help but gush about Circus Juventas. “The programming they do is amazing,” he said. “And these kids are so great, they really mentor each other.” Circus Juventas co-founder Dan Butler told the crowd about some of the kids actually going to the set of Sara Gruen’s novel Water For Elephants, which is based on a a traveling circus in the 1920s, when it was filming in Tennessee over the summer.
I spotted John Nassef mingling with Dan and Betty Butler and KSTP’s Vineeta Sawkar. Local musician Peter Ostroushko was there with his wife Marge. Peter performs music for Circus Juventas and his daughter is in the program and later performed with a snake! Longtime circus performers and legends Willie Edelston, LaNorma Fox, and Tony Steele were also on-hand.
There are more than 800 kids (aged 2 years old to 21!) currently enrolled in Circus Juventas programs. The evening helped raise funds for scholarships so no child who wants to experience the programs has be turned away. After seeing pieces of their summer show Sawdust at this gala, I will definitely check out their next show and relive a little piece of my childhood.