Piccadilly Circus to come to UCF
Published: Friday, July 20, 2012
Updated: Friday, July 20, 2012 16:07
This year will mark the 25th anniversary of one of the most enjoyable family fun circus shows in the United States—the Piccadilly Circus. This weekend, the Piccadilly Circus will be making a stop through Orlando at the UCF Arena, bringing with it a parade of daring aerialists and acrobatics, flashy showgirls, and a zoo full of animals.
The Piccadilly Circus was established in the early 1900s in Sarasota, and it is a unique, family entertainment experience that for 25 years now has been running and evolving as time has gone by. Zac Garden, director or the Piccadilly Circus, helps celebrate this year’s special run by bringing many different acts this year including the “White Tiger Encounter”, which features the Las Vegas white tiger in an act of allusion and awe. Garden said the show is meant to cater to a wide audience.
“It is a family-based show. It is fun for the whole family—from ages 1 to 99,” Garden said. The show travels through almost 46 states nationwide.
Garden is a third generation circus owner. His grandfather is the one who started the Piccadilly Circus back in the 1900s, carrying out the tradition to this day. This year’s tour is titled “BLAST!," a name drawn from the many non-stop thrills of fun, comedy, and family-friendly entertainment the shows provide. Along with the white tiger act, this tour also features a section where people can take pictures with Transformer figures. The show also includes, as usual, African and Asian elephants, the Ukraine's Olympic High Bar team, and showgirls on stilts, while the free petting zoo is still a favorite among the kids. Many of the performers are from various places all over the world, like Bulgaria, Chile, Argentina, and Russia.
One of the performers is 39-year-old Bulgarian native Lyubomir “Lyubo” Karamitrev, who is one of the motorcyclists in the “Globe of Death” act. He drives his motorcycle around a globe cage in circles, defying the whims of gravity. He started off young in the circus business, yet it was not until he came to the United States in 2000 that he started doing shows and acts involving motorcycles.
“It is my job, and I love to do it,” Karamitrev said about his job as a circus performer. “I started when I was eleven. It is the only thing I do—I love it!”
Shane Johnson, 37-year-old Dallas native, is another performer in the Piccadilly Circus who loves what he does. Johnson does the comedy car act. It is a '20s style Ford Model T that performs with Johnson in a comedic act that keeps the whole family laughing.
“It has a mind of its own,” Johnson commented on the hilarity behind his act. “It does a bunch of tricks and then drives away all on its own!”
The Piccadilly Circus will be stopping by the UCF Arena this weekend for shows on Friday, July 20, at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday, July 21, at 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. For more information on the Circus, visit www.thefuncircus.com.