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Big-top nostalgia making a return as circus comes to Nanaimo

Circo Osorio will hold 10 shows over five days Sept. 28-Oct. 2
Circo Osorio performers take a bow after a show on Vancouver Island a few years ago. (Black Press Media file photo)


The big top is set to go up in Nanaimo, and will be filled with clowns, acrobats, stunt riders and more.

The circus is coming to town – American Crown Circus’ Circo Osorio returns to the Woodgrove Centre parking lot from Sept. 28-Oct. 2.

Part of Circo Osorio’s appeal and excitement factor, said co-owner Frank Osorio, is its intimate setting under a big top.

“Most circuses come to an arena, but ours is under the tent, so you have more flavour, more style to it,” he said. “I think it adds to the nostalgia of the circus. It’s hard to describe it in words until you see it.”

One of the returning star attractions will be the ‘Colombian Crazy Drivers’ and their motorbike stunts, and there will be silk trapeze performers and other acrobats.

Circo Osorio brings “Latino flavour, Latino heat” with its music, dancing and performances, the owner said. The circus spends most of the year in the United States, but always enjoys its two months or so north of the border. After Nanaimo, the big top will be packed up and then set up in Victoria, Richmond and Coquitlam.

They keep a busy schedule – in Nanaimo they will pack 10 shows into five days – but performers are re-invigorated every time audiences leave chattering about what they just saw.

“For a lot of performers, that’s the rush,” Osorio said. “The clapping, the people, and seeing the kids happy. For us, that’s a big thing.”

He told the News Bulletin that Circo Osorio loves to perform for kids, but also for adults, so they can “be a kid again” for an hour and a half. As the ringmaster always says, “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, welcome to the big top.”

Circo Osorio’s shows are at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 28-29; at 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30; at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1; and at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 2. Admission is $30 for one adult and one child, or $25 in advance at

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