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The circus makes a visit to Shafter

The Ventura Circus was in town over the weekend, giving the young, and the young at hear,t a few hours of family entertainment. The circus is a dying breed, with the number of circuses in the nation dwindling.

The Ventura Circus had a variety of acrobats, clowns, jugglers and illusionists, as well as a motorcycle "ride of doom."

The company was in Shafter at Mannel Park beginning on Friday, setting up their big-top tent, and performing three shows on Saturday and Sunday. Over 100 people attended the first two shows, with 75 at the last one.

They also had face-painting for the kids, as well as a variety of light-up toys, swords and sunglasses.

The acts began with the high-flying acrobatics of Diandra "Didi" Ventura. Ventura is not only one of the featured performers, she is also the owner's daughter. She soared above the crowd on a ring, suspended in mid-air by her heels through the ring.

The clowns gave the crowd a lot of laughs, and made friends with kids and adults alike.

There also was a group that tumbled and flew through the air using a trampoline. Somersaults were mixed with flips and twists, as they flew to the top of the big top.

A new addition to the show this year was the "motorcycle of doom." A motorcycle rider revved up his bike and sped his cycle round and round inside a metal caged ball, until he was going around the globe upside down, delighting the crowd.

The Ventura Circus is a family-owned company that has been entertaining for over a decade. "It has always been my dad's dream, to own a circus. He has been in the business for years, but finally took the chance to have his own circus and is living his dream," said Aylene, another daughter of owner Manuel Ventura.

The Ventura Circus is put on by a family for families, "My grandma attends the concession, my grandpa builds the circus, my sister performs, my dad's the owner, my mom does everything. People come here and they feel like family," Ayelen Ventura said.


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