NEWS RELEASE -- Catamount Arts
April 1, 2012
A wide-ranging variety of business, civic and cultural organizations have been working together for the past several weeks to bring the circus to town this summer.
As a result of their collaborative efforts, Circus Smirkus will visit St. Johnsbury on Tuesday, July 2, and Wednesday, July 3, with a 1 pm matinee and a 6 pm evening performance each day.
The St. Johnsbury Little League has generously donated the use of the Leonard fields for the circus’ visit.
St. Johnsbury secured one of the stops on Circus Smirkus’ tour which takes them throughout New England and upstate New York each year after an outpouring of support from many local organizations, as well as from the town selectmen themselves. Catamount Arts has stepped up to take the lead as the local presenter.
“This summer’s appearance by Circus Smirkus will be a wonderful boost to our summer here in St. Johnsbury,” said Catamount executive director Jody Fried. “It is the perfect companion to our First Night celebration in that it will involve the combined resources of many area organizations and volunteers in an event that can bring enjoyment and pride to our entire community.”
The possibility of bringing Circus Smirkus to St. Johnsbury has created an enthusiastic wave of support from many area businesses and organizations, who feel that the visit can benefit the local economy and make the town a destination for many summer tourists.
"This summer's performances by Circus Smirkus will be an exciting, positive experience for everyone in our community. Passumpsic Savings Bank is committed to doing its part to make the visit one of the highlights of the summer season," commented Peter Crosby, the President and CEO of the Passumpsic Savings Bank.
“The St. J Chamber is also thrilled to be partnering with Catamount Arts and Circus Smirkus to bring the Circus to town,” commented St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce president Mary Parent. “ We anticipate that this will be a great event to kick off the summer season of activities in St. Johnsbury and surrounding areas, and look forward to a long relationship.”
"We are thrilled that Circus Smirkus has chosen to come to St. Johnsbury and work with Catamount Arts and its partners. This will be an uplifting event that can be enjoyed by all,” added Scott Beck, the executive director of the St. J. Chamber.
The Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce will also be involved in the visit, offering public support and marketing and serving as a ticket outlet at their location in the Green Mountain Mall.
“Circus Smirkus is a tremendous treasure in the Northeast Kingdom, not only bringing positive attention to our area but additional revenue into our economy,” commented Darcie McCann, the executive director of the Northeast Kingdom Chamber. “One of the other positives of such a move, beyond the entertainment value of such a wonderful circus, is seeing so many community and regional organizations working together to make this happen. We are very proud to be part of this effort.”
St. Johnbury’s Cultural Alliance, which includes The St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, the Fairbanks Museum and St. Johnsbury Academy, as well as Catamount Arts, will also be part of the effort to create community wide involvement with the circus.
"We are delighted to support Catamount Arts in bringing Circus Smirkus to St. Johnsbury. We believe this will be a wonderful entertainment and learning opportunity for the families and children in our community," said Jack Cummings, Associate Headmaster for Advancement and Admission at St. Johnsbury Academy.
“Circus Smirkus is an extraordinary example of success based in the Northeast Kingdom, and St. Johnsbury is a perfect venue to celebrate this amazing celebration of creativity, talent and energy,” commented Anna Rubin of the Fairbanks Museum. “The Fairbanks Museum has partnered with Circus Smirkus to promote past performances, and we are tremendously excited about this news.”
Even the St. Johnsbury selectboard is encouraged that the circus will be good for the town.
" This is great news, Northern New Hampshire and Vermont will be busy with tourists when the circus is here and bringing them to St Johnsbury for the shows will be great for our town and the area,” said select board member Jeff Moore.
Every summer, a company of 30 talented Circus Smirkus Troupers go on a two-month performance tour around New England and upstate New York. Backed by coaches, cooks, crew and musicians, the Troupers perform to sell-out crowds in a 750-seat European-style one-ring Big Top tent.
Every year the circus chooses a new storyline and develops an original full-length show that combines the best of traditional and contemporary circus styles. Young circus Troopers have the full experience of touring with a traditional one-ring Big Top tent show. For 2013, Circus Smirkus goes somewhere over the rainbow with “Oz Incorporated” a new spin on the Wizard of Oz.
Ed LeClair, the Executive Director of Circus Smirkus, also commented “There is something inspiring about performing in front our friends and neighbors. The welcome we have received from St. Johnsbury has us cartwheeling with anticipation. We feel so much support and goodwill from the entire community that our cast, crew and staff can’t wait to throw open the tent and let the spectacle begin.”
For more information on Circus Smirkus and their upcoming July 2 and 3 visit to St. Johnsbury, please visit www.smirkus.org.