Piccolo Zoppe circus in Hot Springs through Sunday

Tosca Zoppe carries on her family's 180-year tradition of circus performance from right here in Arkansas. - Photo by Lance Brownfield of The Sentinel-Record
Tosca Zoppe carries on her family's 180-year tradition of circus performance from right here in Arkansas. - Photo by Lance Brownfield of The Sentinel-Record

HOT SPRINGS -- The Piccolo Zoppe Italian Family Circus has returned to Hot Springs for the first time in years.

The 180-year-old European-style circus runs until Sunday near the entrance to Hot Springs Memorial Field.

"No audience member is more than 18 feet from the actual circus ring," Tosca Zoppe, the circus' equestrian, said. "The horses galloping by -- you can actually feel the rush of the air as they go by."

The Piccolo Zoppe Circus uses one ring as opposed to the three-ring configuration that most American circuses employ. The Zoppe legacy began in 1842 in Italy after a "French clown and a Hungarian equestrian ballerina met in Hungary and fell in love." The couple emigrated to Italy and started the circus that still performs to this day.

The Zoppes landed in America when Tosca Zoppe's father came to film a movie called "The Greatest Show on Earth" in 1952. The Paramount Pictures film depicts the lives of circus performers. He began his own circus here in the United States.

Thirty-seven years ago, the Zoppes settled in Greenbrier, which is their next and final stop for the year in their Piccolo Zoppe Winter Circus tour.

The show, which lasts just over two hours, features animal acts, adagio, trapeze and more.

Tickets are $25 for adult general admission and $15 for youths. VIP tickets cost $30. For more information, visit http://www.piccolozoppe.com.

  photo  A clown with the Zoppe Circus recruits an audience member for a blindfold challenge. - Photo by Lance Brownfield of The Sentinel-Record
 
 
  photo  An aerialist performs during the Piccolo Zoppe Italian Family Circus. - Photo by Lance Brownfield of The Sentinel-Record
 
 

Upcoming Events