Come one, come all to a circus spectacular as Shelburne Museum plays ringmaster to all things circus. Witness fanciful feats by circus artists while enjoying food, carnival games, and activities galore! Bring your family to our “Big Top” and experience a true circus extravaganza. Free with Museum admission.
The Circus on Parade – From the U.K. to the U.S.A.
A once in a lifetime magic lantern slide presentation of rare photographic images of circus parades with focus on the fantastic circus wagons, open animal cages and gilded floats that mesmerized the thousands of people who lined the streets for hours to catch a glimpse of this spectacular procession and cavalcade of circus animals and performers.
Immediately following the parade, there will be the scintillating, stupendous, stimulating, stunning performance by the acrobats and troupe from the Cirque d’Magique, with Daring High and Low Wire Acts, Trapeze Artists, Leapers, Lions and Tigers, Clowns, Bareback Riders, Jumping Dogs, Snake Charmers, Juggling Frogs and of course, no circus should be without them: the Performing Ponderous Pachyderms
Dick Moore is a showman and avid collector of magic lanterns and slides, as well as a circus historian. As part of his extensive collection, he has amassed hundreds of historically significant and rare circus lantern slides from the U.S., the UK and France, dating from the 1860’s into the 1930’s. He is a member and past president of the Magic Lantern Society of the United States and Canada, a member of the Magic Lantern Society in the UK, as well as a member of the Circus Historical Society, and The Circus Fans Association.
Under the Big Top
Three shows: 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m. Witness fanciful feats by former Cirque du Soleil & Ringling Brothers performers, aerialists, jugglers, stilt walkers, and magic from Wunderle’s Big Top Adventures. Shows run approximately 20 minutes. Circus Lawn.
Clown Alley: Circus Skills and Clowning with Gigi Weisman and Michelle Lefkowitz
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Come play with Gigi and Michelle as you learn juggling, hula hooping and general clowning around. Hula hoops available for purchase: $15–$20. Lawn east of the Ticonderoga.
Face Painting with Hyper Focus
10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. “Because face painting is awesome!” $5. Two locations: General Store porch and lawn east of the Ticonderoga.
Dux the Balloon Man
10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Come meet Dux the Balloon Man! The amusing and expert balloon twisting performer will be creating balloon animals, wands, and jester hats! $5 per balloon
The Amazing Balloon Tunnel
Crawl through Dux the Balloon Man’s fantastical balloon tunnel creation, found on the west side of the Circus Croquette. You can’t miss it!
Test your skills at some carnival favorites and walk away with a prize. Dutton House lawn.
Circus on the Go
Encounter strolling performers—stilt walkers, magicians, jugglers, and more. Museum grounds.
Grab your mallets and play! Enjoy this fun game of circus animal-themed croquet. Main entrance lawn, west of the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education.
Step Right Up! Circus Photo Booth
Strike a pose and create a lasting circus souvenir! Lawn east of the General Store, across from carnival games.
Pick up a circus memento (or two) of your day! Faux mustaches, circus lollipops, juggling balls, and more! Across from the carousel.
Circus Rest Stop
Take a break from the festivities and get creative with a circus coloring sheet. Owl Cottage Activity Center.
Under the Mini Top
Entertaining circus activities for the little ones. Owl Cottage front lawn.
Visit the Roy Arnold Circus Parade and the Kirk Bros. Circus and view the dazzling array of carousel figures. Circus Building.
Take a Carousel Ride
Ride the Museum’s historic Herschel Spillman carousel. Weather permitting. $1 per ride. Members ride free.
Enjoy delicious selections from the Local Food Court powered by the Skinny Pancake.
Food on the Go
Additional food and circus treats from local VT food trucks include:
Cotton Candy Connection, featuring original and maple cotton candy, popcorn, fried dough, snow cones, and fresh-squeezed lemonade. Located on the West side lawn of Circus Building.
Open Hearth Pizza Oven, located between Webb Gallery and Settler’s Barn.
Ice cream Truck: located on the east side of The Lighthouse.
The Scoop Car: Located along the path next to the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education.