Peru – It’s called the silk cradle. Hanging from a piece of silk cloth, two girls perform acts of acrobatic artistry, twirling and spinning high above the ground. They even dangle from the silk by just their teeth.
It sounds dangerous, but the two teenage girls have been practicing since March to master one of the newest acts at this year’s Circus City Festival.
Starting Friday, more than 230 kids from Miami County will pull off feats of aerial daring and gymnastic artistry during the city’s largest and most popular festival that has become Peru’s namesake.
More than 9,000 people bought tickets to the youth circus last year and thousands more poured in for rides, games and food set up around the courthouse.
More than 1,000 volunteers from the county and all across the country also will help put on the circus and festival this year.
“It’s a huge deal,” said festival publicity vice president Brande Brehmer. “This really brings our community together. It’s a love for the kids and the love for the circus.”
For the last four months, Miami County children and young adults 7 to 21 years old have practiced three, four and sometimes five days a week to perfect the more than 30 different acts at this year’s circus, including things like the flying trapeze, unicycling and juggling.
Brehmer said they’re also bringing back an act from years ago called the lyre. Suspended from the ceiling inside a metal contraption, a single girl uses the device to twirl and flip.
“It’s shaped really weird,” Brehmer said. “But she sits inside and does some amazing tricks.”
The family-night performance starts at 7 p.m. today. Shows also start at 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
This Saturday, all ticket sales will go towards the festival’s scholarship fund, which provides money to senior performers heading off to college.