Chicago's Midnight Circus in the Parks Announces 10th Anniversary City-Wide Tour

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Creating Community and Rebuilding Parks...One Circus at a Time!

Jenkins Clowns

We believe that public parks and public schools are the foundation upon which a great city is built.

The internationally-renowned Midnight Circus in the Parks tour is back for a celebratory 10th anniversary season. As part of the Chicago Park District’s “Night Out in the Parks” initiative, the circus kicks off August 27 & 28 in Englewood and plays at select parks across the city every weekend until mid-October. What started 10 years ago as a weekend of "open-air" shows with aspirations to make a few dollars to restore a local playground has turned into a Chicago tradition. Founders Jeff and Julie Jenkins now take their internationally-acclaimed show all over Chicago to create community, raise funds, and rebuild circus at a time.

"Midnight Circus has always strived to over-deliver to communities and families all across Chicago,” said Jenkins. “As parents, artists, community activists and life-long Chicagoans, we believe that public parks and public schools are the foundation upon which a great city is built. That in short, is why we do what do."

A great example of Midnight Circus’s commitment to building community and nurturing long-term relationships in the neighborhoods it plays is the return to Ogden Park in Englewood for a third consecutive season. “Each and every year the crowds get bigger, we reach more families, and we raise more money for the Ogden Park Advisory Council,” added Jenkins.

This year, the Midnight Circus will kick off the tour in Ogden Park on the very same day that Englewood hosts its Annual Back to School Parade. Jenkins and company are working closely with parade officials, park advisory council members and community leaders to make their show a spectacular event. The parade will march through the neighborhood before finishing in Ogden Park, at the circus. The goal in Englewood, like all parks the circus visits, is to leave an inspirational and tangible footprint after the tent is gone.

In honor of the 10th anniversary, the Midnight Circus in the Parks show will involve an all-new storyline and new award-winning artists to join its wildly eclectic cast of favorite characters. The troupe features a wide-ranging ensemble of acrobats, aerialists, eccentrics, one rescued dog and even a couple amazingly talented kids who don’t have to run away to join the circus...their parents own it!

According to Jenkins, Midnight Circus in the Parks can't pull their successful shows off without spending years building relationships, winning community support and delivering a great program year after year. Some of the Midnight Circus noteworthy highlights to date include:

  • Attracting over 15,000 people every year to local parks across Chicago, from Roseland on the far South Side all the way up north to Norwood Park.
  • Raising over $800,000 total for local Chicago parks over the last 10 years.
  • The only American circus to play the world-renown Montreal Circus Festival, a big honor and testament to the incredible quality of the show.
  • Time-Out Chicago naming it the "Best Annual Family Entertainment"
  • Working with hundreds of volunteers, community groups, block clubs, religious leaders, aldermen and many more to bring a world-class live performance to the heart of communities.
  • Always staying true to the mission and prioritizing community involvement, community-engagement and giving each community a real voice and a share of the funds to make a positive impact.

For its 2016 run, the Midnight Circus will again tour eight Chicago parks from August through October. Each 90 minute-show takes place under an intimate, little big top tent where there is no such thing as a bad seat and kids can get within an arm’s length of the action. With new acts and returning favorites, including Jeff’s wife and two children, the Midnight Circus in the Parks city-wide tour has quickly become a Chicago family tradition.

Ogden Park – August 27 & 28
Gately Park – September 3 & 4
McKinley Park – September 10 & 11
Wicker Park – September 16,17 & 18
Oriole Park – September 24 & 25
Independence Park – October 1 & 2
Hamlin Park – October 8 & 9
Welles Park October 14, 15 & 16

Tickets: Tickets are on sale starting August 1st through and are $5 to $20, with children under two free. Discounts are available for groups of 20 or more. A heavy ticket discount is available for the first three weekend shows, which have been generously sponsored. For more information, visit the website.

High resolution photos, video, or interview requests available by contacting event publicist Jody Grimaldi at jody(dot)grimaldi(at)gmail(dot).com.

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Jody Grimaldi