Gathering around to play games with a giant parachute was just one of the many activities the Humboldt Circus offered to the kids. March 17. | Photo by Skylar Gaven

The Circus came to town

The Humboldt Circus came out to play while providing a family friendly fun-filled afternoon at Humbrews
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Children danced to uplifting music as the Humboldt Circus made its way to Humbrews to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on a beautiful sunny Sunday. Kids of all ages and their parents were invited to participate in a carefree afternoon playdate.

With fun games and freshly-popped popcorn to keep the kids entertained, the parents relaxed as they watched their kids run around a juggler, dancer, and clown-filled Humbrews. Many parents like Hannah Hirschfeld were smiling the whole afternoon knowing they could sit back, keep an eye on their kids and enjoy a cool glass of beer.

“Not many places where you can drink and watch your kids,” Hirschfeld said.

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Cornelius Austin (right) performing a juggling act on stage. March 17. | Photo by Skylar Gaven

Even though they were there to entertain, members of the Humboldt Circus had just as much fun as the parents and kids did. The Humboldt Circus came out to play and goof around while providing a fun-filled afternoon for all who entered. Valerie Dominguez, an active member of the group for five years, said that performing in these types of events really brings out the inner kid in her and in everyone else in the group.

“We all have children inside of us so being able to share that with actual children makes it really fun,” Dominguez said.

The Humboldt Circus group is open to anybody with a happy-go-lucky attitude and a willingness to learn on the fly. Members have a great time performing with each other, as evidenced by their overwhelmingly cheerful demeanor. Everyone in the circus considers each other a family of unique individuals.

“It’s basically just a big family that loves being silly together,” Dominguez said. “We love to laugh, we love running around, and we like colors, rainbows, sparkles, we like all of that together.”

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Circus member Devon Burt (left) along with kids took advantage of the cool circus toys scattered around the room. March 17. | Photo by Skylar Gaven

Cornelius Austin has also been a member for five years now. At first he had no idea how to juggle or perform, like many others who join. Austin has seen himself grow as he continues to practice and involve himself with the group.

“It’s been a huge part of my life. It’s my community, it’s been my group of artists, it’s helped me grow in so many ways,” Austin said. “Before I joined the circus I had no idea how to juggle, I had never performed, I’ve never done anything like this before.”

Brianna Juarez is a freshman at HSU who has been a part of the group for almost a full school year. She finds this group to be beyond welcoming and has learned from other members that have been excellent teachers throughout the short time she’s been there.

“It’s been so great. The Humboldt Circus is such a great community, everybody is so welcoming,” Juarez said. “When I first came I didn’t know how to juggle or do anything with the hula-hoop but there’s always so many people that are so talented and are willing to teach you new things. It’s really rewarding.”

No former experience in juggling, hula-hooping, or any other skills is required. This fun-loving group is accepting to all who join their community. No matter who you are or how much experience you have, the circus is where you go to learn and be yourself. Devon Burt, another member who was recruited all the back in 2013, has loved every experience this group had to offer. He also said that you don’t need to be an expert in any of the skills that they participate in.

“Anyone can join. You don’t even have to know how to do anything, you can learn while you’re here,” Burt said.

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Meghan Dean (blue beanie) making sure things are running smoothly around the venue. March 17. | Photo by Skylar Gaven

The Circus was an excellent way to spend a Sunday afternoon with family. This has been their third gig here at Humbrews thanks to the pub’s Marketing Director, Meghan Dean. With her love for the community Dean and Humbrews Owner Andy Ardell have frequently hosted shows and events such as these to bring something exciting to the relatively small area of Arcata. Dean hopes to host more family-friendly shows and events in the future. Her friendly presence was seen all around the venue, catering to others needs, laughing with parents and sitting back to observe the cheerful environment.

“I love it. I love doing community events like this, bringing in kids is fantastic,” Dean said. “We are really looking to reach out to the community and have more family-oriented events and more community events.”

If you want to experience something new and want to participate or show support for other local groups make sure to check out the HSU Dance Fundraiser on April 1 held at Humbrews.

“We are always happy to work with HSU,” Dean said.

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