ENGLEWOOD — This weekend only, Englewood’s Hamilton Park will host the greatest show under the “Little Big Top” for two performances of the Midnight Circus.
The Midnight Circus performances in Englewood are at 3 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the park, 513 W. 72nd St. This is the second year the circus will be hosted in Hamilton Park, said Asiaha Butler, president of the Hamilton Park Advisory Council and president of Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.).
Butler said 200 free tickets will be distributed to area families thanks to Teamwork Englewood and individual donors. Tickets can also be purchased online for $5.
The circus brings world-renowned performers and circus acts to neighborhoods across Chicago as part of its Midnight Circus in the Parks series. About 20 of the Midnight Circus performers also perform with world-class companies across the United States and Europe like Cirque du Soleil, said Jeff Jenkins, executive director and co-founder of Midnight Circus.
“It’s important to us first and foremost that our show is accessible,” he said. “We want to make sure every child, every family, in every neighborhood in Chicago can afford to see the Midnight Circus.”
Jenkins said the Englewood neighborhood has always been “near and dear” to him dating back to when he worked to rescue and rehabilitate pit bull dogs in the neighborhood.
“I always wanted to bring the circus down there and then several years ago when we had the opportunity to expand the tour that was one of my first asks,” Jenkins said.
He said he reached out to a few of his Englewood contacts and before long the circus had plans for the South Side.
“We were thrilled and excited and together we collaborated with pulling it off and it’s been wildly successful,” he said. “It is really quite special when we get to bring the circus to Englewood. It’s rare for kids in communities like Englewood get a chance to see something like a circus in their own park.”
Last year the tent was at capacity with people and Butler expects this year to be no different.
“[The Midnight Circus] exposes the community to something different,” Butler said. “A lot of folks aren’t able to Ringling Bros. or even go to Washington Park for the UniverSoul Circus so it’s great that the circus travels around to communities like Englewood and gives families and students the opportunity to see the acrobats and everything.”
Jenkins, a longtime Lincoln Square resident, said the circus allows he and his wife, circus co-founder Julie, to give back to Chicago neighborhoods. the circus is how he and his wife/co-founder, Julie, give back to Chicago communities.
Midnight Circus in the Park has raised $960,000 for community groups, park programs and play-lot renovations, according to the group’s Facebook page. The circus has also raised more than $18,000 for Hurricane Maria Relief efforts.
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