Traveling circus comes to Tacoma this month

Photos courtesy of Circus Venardos The Circus Venardos is an old school, traveling circus that is run by one of the last ring leaders from Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey. The circus, which will be at STAR Center July 11-22, features clowns, acrobats and other entertainments. Less savory features of the circuses of the past, like animal acts and side shows, are not part of the Circus Venardos. Photo courtesy of Circus Venardos

The circus is coming to Tacoma. The red and white striped tent, the home of Circus Venardos, will soon appear at STAR Center, with shows running July 11-22. Recently featured on CBS’ “Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley,” Circus Vendaros seeks to keep alive the tradition of the travelling circus. 

Kevin Venardos, producer of the circus, will be working with Tacoma’s Young Ambassadors program and Emerald City Trapeze students while his circus visits Tacoma. Venardos, the youngest ringmaster in the history of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, started Circus Venardos four years ago, at a time when most circuses had closed or were failing. 

Photo courtesy of Circus Venardos

Venardos says that his circus will bring Tacoma “classic fun – perfect for a great date, or a great family event.” Venardos says that his circus consists of world class aerialists, jugglers, comedians, and more, but no animals. The performances are linked together in a Broadway style musical. While most of the performers travel all over the country with the circus, about a quarter of the performers featured under the big top in Tacoma will be locals. 

Photo courtesy of Circus Venardos

The circus tent will open to audiences an hour before show time for an opportunity to meet and interact with the circus members and take photos. The show itself lasts about an hour and a half.

Venardos learned much about circuses in his five years as ringmaster with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, when he lived on the circus train. He left that circus with the dream of starting his own. Dreams are very important to Venardos. Talking about the importance of the circus to himself and to the communities he brings it to, he says: “I want people to remember that anything is possible — you can dream as wild a dream as having your own circus.” For more information or tickets, visit:

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