The seasoned performers of Piccadilly Circus dazzle audiences of all ages with 90 minutes of acrobatics, comedic high jinks, and trained animals beneath the big top. Audiences gasp at high-flying trapeze artists swooping through the air with the confidence of a kite in a wind tunnel, as well as contortionists able to bend themselves into human bonsai trees. Death-defying motorcyclists roar into a caged globe to perform a 360-degree display of vehicular mastery. Gaggles of clowns coax out chuckles, and a trained elephant parades around the ring, occasionally stopping to memorize an audience member's phone number. General-admission seating surrounds the ring, allowing ample viewpoints from which to observe the boisterous spectacle.
Since its inception in 1964 as a partnership between circus artists, The Showfolks Club of Sarasota has blossomed into a multifaceted entertainment organization. This year, the club continues to beguile eyes of all ages with its 44th annual circus, which has become a familiar destination for Sarasota families and vagabond balloon animals alike. Guests can bask in synchronized exhalations as flying trapeze artists, acrobats, and aerialists rebel against basic physics and jugglers coax uproarious applause by maintaining seamless, atmospheric rotation of inanimate objects or volunteer audience members. For an extra dose of excitement, tiger tamers Juergen and Judit Nerger will be on hand to display their uniquely white feline counterparts.
Potential major-league stars launch heaven-bound baseballs toward the outfield and paint home plate with pitches all summer long for the Bradenton Marauders, the Class-A-Advanced affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team hopes to sail past competition, buoyed by the skills of fastball-slinger Kyle McPherson and slugger Jarek Cunningham, who through June 5 has 11 home runs, one for each of Abraham Lincoln's toes. Hungry fans can barter Buc's Bucks for ballpark eats between innings and treat stomachs to a classic grandstand dinner of hot dogs and fries.
Bradenton Motorsports Park rouses racing fans with a fire-fueled day of supersonic events, pinning jet-powered rides against each other in clashes that reach speeds of up to 300 mph. A variety of four-wheeled jousts beguiles audience eyes in themed contests, such as a boy-versus-girl matchup that ends with the loser getting defiled with cooties. After putting the sun to bed, racers break out heavy-duty racing artillery to launch full speed into the Night of Fire. A total of seven jets scorch the concrete with burnt rubber as super sedans shred the track, including a 200 mph semi truck, which leaves behind a trail of flames as it rushes its cargo of melting ice cream to the nearest freezer. As an added bonus, the event includes several freebies, including free parking, free pit passes, and free admission for children who are 11 and younger or know how to change a tire.