If you are going to see a circus, Sarasota is certainly the place! Sarasota is known historically for being a circus town. The name Ringling is everywhere from the Ringling Museum to the Ringling Bridge.
John Ringling brought the Wallenda family here in 1928 and they made Sarasota their home. Ringling’s Clown College operated at the Sarasota Opera House until 1997. Penn Gillette of the famous duo “Penn & Teller” was a student. The winter headquarters of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus was originally in the SRQ until it moved down to Venice. We have had the “Sailor Circus” since 1949 on Bahia Vista Street. Sarasota has two of the most famous current daredevils residing here, Bello Nock, who has appeared on “America’s Got Talent” and Nik Wallenda, world renowned high-wire walker who recently walked over Times Square and who’s next feat is to walk over a live volcano!
Currently playing in Sarasota under the Big Top is “Cirque Ma’Ceo” at Ed Smith Stadium’s north lot! A mixture of equestrian artistry and cirque gymnastics, this show is amazing! Director and creator Olissio Zoppe appeared in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 2011 and 2015, as well as “Circus Flora” and “Big Apple Circus” among others. His family history with the equestrian arts goes back to the 1800’s in Italy. The Zoppe’s have been local residents in Myakka City for the last 10 years! The dozen horses in the circus are not only beautiful but very talented and there are over ten different breeds in the show. The horses are a big part of the show, but there is so much more to experience!
There is skilled acrobatics both on the floor and in the air, exciting Hawaiian Fire dancing as well as crossbow action that will have you on the edge of your seat. The cast of ten performers are so professional with the mind-blowing stunts; you can’t believe your eyes at times. Daredevil feats riding bareback with horses moving at high rates of speed drew gasps from the audience. During intermission, they bring a few of the horses out in the ring and you can take a photo with them. This is particularly exciting to the children, as well as the adults, who get an opportunity to see them up close and personal.
Cirque Ma’Ceo is playing Thursday – Sunday through February 2nd. It is a great show for the whole family! Don’t miss out on this artistic circus experience! There are drinks and snacks available and parking is FREE! Ticket prices for children are only $10.00! The tent seats 700 and there is not a bad seat in the house. You can even sit right up close to the ring action as a VIP!
The Zoppe Zamperla family offers various clinics and camps at their Myakka City ranch! There are daily lessons available to living at the ranch and training with the horses. Check out their website here!
Photos by Vicky Sullivan / The Suncoast Post