The Zoppe Italian Family Circus returned to downtown Redwood City this fall, entertaining more than 26,000 people with matinee and evening performances of its La Vita Nova show.
Over a period of eight weeks from Oct. 7 through Nov.28, the group set up its one-ring circus tent next to the Main Library, according to the City’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department (PRCS). This year’s show featured a Russian bar act, sword balancing, trapeze artist, clown antics and more.
The PRCS Department also teamed up with the group to host circus camps for children, which sold out.
The circus’ return to downtown Redwood City followed the temporary relocation of the show starting in 2013 to Red Morton Park due to downtown development projects. Spurring the circus’ return to downtown was a coordinated effort among the PRCS Department, Downtown Business Group, Redwood City Improvement Association, Redwood City Library and the Economic Development Division of the City Manager’s Office.
The ongoing circus performances—which have been coming to Redwood City for more than 14 years—“bring an influx of people into downtown to support business recovery following pandemic-related restrictions,” said the PRCS Department, which added that it received “an incredible amount of positive feedback from not only attendees, but also from downtown businesses.” Department officials said they are already looking forward to next year.
Founded nearly 200 years ago in Venice, Italy by Napoleone Zoppé, The Zoppe Family Circus gained great popularity in Europe. It was eventually inherited by Napoleone’s great-grandson, Alberto Zoppe, who eventually came to America to work with the Ringling Brothers Circus. Alberto’s son, Giovanni, revived the circus in America 14 years ago and stands as an excellent example of an old world family circus.
Learn more about The Zoppe Italian Family Circus here.
Photo courtesy of the circus