Old-fashioned circus fans are invited to step right up to a brand-new state of the art Big Top tent Tuesday through Sunday, Aug. 18 when the esteemed Circus Vargas brings its legendary family-friendly shows to Santa Anita Park in Arcadia.    

The new, innovative venue boasts over 11, 000 square feet in area with top of the line amphitheater-style seating and more than 1,000 spectator seats.

Designed and built in Italy by world-renowned chapiteau manufacturer Canobbio Textile Engineering, the entire Circus Vargas project took well over two years to create and arrives in time for the circus’ 50th anniversary. Construction on the massive structure had to be configured precisely to Vargas’ needs and specifications. With months of planning, preparation and engineering the intricate puzzle, of poles, stakes, rope cables and fabric, was tailored precisely and deliberately with safety as well as esthetics in mind.

“We wanted it to be beautiful as well as functional,” says Katya Quiroga, who co-owns and produces Circus Vargas with her husband, Nelson. “Our first priority, of course, is that the structure be safe during our visit in the community, but we also wanted it to be visually appealing and still be able to be assembled, disassembled and moved easily and efficiently. This is where the emphasis on modernization and technology comes to play. Imagine building a house tearing it down, moving it and then rebuilding it continuously, 11 months out of the year. It’s really tremendous when you think about it!”

Circus Vargas offers audiences two unforgettable hours of nonstop action and adventure, offering old-time circus fun, including death-defying acrobats, daredevils, aerialists and jugglers, as well as contortionists, clowns and motorcycle stunt drivers — while keeping the show animal-free. Attendees are encouraged to arrive 30 minutes early for an interactive pre-show celebration, where kids can create their own magic under the big top by learning circus skills including juggling and balancing. Audiences are also invited to meet and mingle with the entire cast after each performance.

“There is no doubt that this was the culmination of a tremendous amount of time and hard work”, states Nelson Quiroga.  “You can’t click a few buttons online and order it to be delivered. This was a labor of love.”

“Yes, this was a very challenging and bittersweet process,” agrees Katya. “It’s sad to have to say goodbye to our previous big top, but it had taken a beating over the last decade. Years of traveling, mantling and dismantling had taken its toll. We have made amazing memories and had presented incredible productions in that old friend of ours, but we are so excited and know that there are new adventures and new memories to come! We have a new show, and now a beautiful new venue!” 

Circus Vargas will perform Tuesday through next Sunday, Aug. 18 at Santa Anita Park, 285 Huntington Drive, Arcadia. Tickets are $19.75 to $46. Call (877) 468-3861 (GOTFUN-1) or visit showclix.com/events/18207.