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Circus Smirkus celebrates 26 years under the big top - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Circus Smirkus celebrates 26 years under the big top

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ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. -

Under the big top in Essex Junction is where the magic happens. Twenty-six kids from around the U.S. are clowning around for the 26th year of Circus Smirkus.

"I was always really inspired immediately I'd run home and try out my own skills," said Noah Nielsen of Montpelier.

For Noah, being in Smirkus was a childhood dream come true.

"It was all I hoped it would be and more," he said.

This three-month summer tour is his fourth and final since the cutoff age is 18.

"It taught me a lot about circus but a lot about community and a lot of other things that helped me in the world outside of the ring," Noah said.

Noah may be in his final year, but Rockingham sisters Emily and Ariana Wunderlee are looking forward to many shows to come with Smirkus.

"I also love performing and showing the audience kids our age can do amazing things," said Emily, 12.

"It's amazing. It's just like so incredible it seems not real," said Ariana, 9.

With both their parents also involved in Smirkus, these two can hardly remember a time when they weren't under the tent. Now every year their family keeps growing.

"It's all a family and we just get together so well and it ties so well," Ariana said.

As for Noah, Smirkus convinced him to make this a career. He's going to professional circus school in Montreal this year and says he wants to perform as long as his body will hold out.

"A little nerve-wracking but I'm excited for everything that comes next," he said.

You have to be between the ages of 10 and 18 to join Circus Smirkus. They will be performing at the fairgrounds in Essex Junction until Thursday of this week. They finish their Smirkus tour in August. Click here for the tour schedule.

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