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Step right up and get your tickets to the Big Apple Circus, now at National Harbor! For its 40th Anniversary celebration, Big Apple Circus promises to be bigger and better than ever.

After a short hiatus when the Big Apple Circus changed ownership to BigTopWorks, the circus came back to its home in New York City’s Lincoln Center last Christmas. And now, it’s here at National Harbor (Oxon Hill, Maryland) until April 1 — and tickets are available!

The History

Big Apple Circus

Courtesy bigapplecircus.com

The Big Apple Circus was created by Paul Binder and Michael Christensen in 1977. These two had juggled together at Annie Fratellini’s Nouveau Cirque de Paris, in France, where they fell in love with the circus — not the over-commercialized three-ring circus but a more intimate and theatrical circus.

The Big Apple Circus gave its first performance on July 18, 1977, under a small, green canvas big top near the World Trade Center, on a Manhattan landfill that would later become Battery Park City. The New York press and the New Yorkers went crazy for it: “For 90 minutes, New York turns into a village on fair day, binding adults and children alike in a community of sheer pleasure,” said the New York Post.

For three years, the circus struggled to make ends meet, but with a new executive director at the helm, on December 4, 1981, it gave its first holiday season performance under a brand-new, Italian big top in Damrosch Park, at the heart of Lincoln Center. The show featured an all-star circus cast and became the “little circus that could.” It’s become a beloved New York holiday tradition.

The Acts

The headliner of the Big Apple Circus’s 40th Anniversary celebration is Nik Wallenda, hailed as “The King of The High Wire” and the “Greatest Daredevil of Our Generation.” He’s the guy who walked across the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls on a high wire! (He’s also done a bunch of other crazy things that make me want to bite my nails just thinking about them). Nik and his family, the Fabulous Wallendas, are sure to thrill the audience with their death-defying stunts.

On the flying trapeze, Ammed Tuniziani of the Flying Tunizianis will try the quadruple somersault into the hands of his catcher. Big Apple Circus’s longstanding favorite, Grandma the Clown, and her comedy sidekick, Joel Jeske, will bring the belly laughs. Not to be left out, Dandino & Luciana will blow your mind with what they can do on roller skates. Award-winning contortionist Elayne Kramer will do mind-bending acts of elasticity. Master juggler Gamal Garcia will juggle like he has 10 arms!

There will also be a Russian bar act, acrobats, and a circus trainer with 16 horses, ponies, and rescue dogs in the ring!

Tickets

Tickets can be purchased here, and there are a variety of prices based on the days of the week and your choice of seating. They range between $25 and $92.50.

Location

The Big Apple Circus is on the Plateau located at the intersection of Waterfront and St. George streets. They recommend you park in the St. George garage unless a parking official tells you to park elsewhere. Click here for parking details.

So step right up folks, and witness this history-laden national treasure in action! The Big Apple Circus is leaping into action from now until April 1st! Get your tickets today!

Have you been to the Big Apple Circus or ANY circus? Tell us about your time under the big top in the comments below!

Enjoy D.C.’s famous National Cherry Blossom Festival — happening this month, too!

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