All throughout the Southwest Washington Fair, the Wenatchee Youth Circus has taken to the Fair Office Field for a half-hour long performance filled with flips, tricks, trapeze and high wire acts.
The traveling circus tours all through the summer to various venues and has a number of performers ranging in age from the super young to 18.
Shortly after the last performance of the day Thursday — and after the grand finale high wire act — Samuel Talbot, 14, succinctly summed up what it’s like to walk the 35-foot high wire: “It’s really fun and really scary.”
Six performers took to the wire and performed alternating tricks, including riding a bike and a unicycle across the wire and standing on top of a chair balancing on the wire.
“We’re all talking up there and having a good time, you know, making jokes and just hanging out and having fun,” said Andrew Rutz, 17.
Rutz said he got involved in the circus about five years ago. Fellow performer Lily-Ann Geren asked him if he wanted to join and the thought was intriguing.
“So I went home and asked my parents and of course they said no,” he said. After a year of pestering, they gave in and let him join.
All six of the kids involved in the high wire act shared their stories of how they got involved.
Geren recruited Talbot, who also knows the circus’s founder. Meanwhile, Geren, 14, joined with her brothers.
Noni Alley, 18, said she was just 4 years old when she performed for the first time, but quit after that. It wasn’t until three years ago that she felt the urge to get involved again.
Alie Oargas, 15, also joined the circus when she was young, but quit shortly after.
“About two years ago, I wanted to be like Lily, standing on the chair and stuff, so I asked Lily one day if she would go with me and walk on high wire, and that’s how it all started,” she said.
Circus life brings with it summers of touring all around the state and putting on countless shows. Each day of the fair, the troupe performed four shows per day at various times. After they’re done for the day, the kids get to go and enjoy the fair.
“The rides here are pretty phenomenal, I gotta say,” said Olivia McPherson, 16 — high praise from someone who less than an hour ago performed something of a mid-air dance with Tristyn Geren, 17. The act ends with Geren, legs locked onto a trapeze, connected neck to neck with McPherson, who then performs a rapid and graceful spin. It’s a trick aptly named “the death-defying neck spin.”
Are they nervous?
“It depends on how much we’ve practiced,” said Geren. “If it’s like a new trick or something that’s just scary in general, you’re normally nervous the whole time.”
The circus is free to attend. Shows are scheduled for 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday. The final show Sunday is set to be a 90-minute finale.